U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren is calling for the repeal of the estate tax, often called the inheritance tax or the death tax.
Last week Hultgren, a Winfield Republican, co-sponsored the "Farmers Against Crippling Taxes Act," which would repeal the tax Hultgren called "unfair" and an "assault" on small business owners and farmers.
Hultgren, who represents Kendall and Kane counties, said the estate tax hurts economic growth by taxing the same assets multiple times.
“As our economy continues to under perform, we must do more to make life more affordable, and encourage people to make the investments in their businesses that will get our economy moving again. The death tax flies in the face of the very foundation of the American dream. Small businesses are the engine of our economy. Entrepreneurship and ingenuity should not be penalized," Hultgren said in a press release.
He added that taxing the same assets over and over as it is passed down in inheritance has the "effect of forcing families out of multi-generational farms or small businesses.”
Proponents of the estate tax, including organizations like United for a Fair Economy, say preserving the tax prevents an economic oligarchy and "holds the wealthy accountable for their fair share of our tax responsibility."
In January the estate tax exemption increased by $130,000, according to the IRS.
The estate-tax exemption for 2013 will be $5.25 million for individuals, up from $5.12 million in 2012, Bloomberg reported. For married couples, the combined threshold is $10.5 million.