At a rate of 40%, the United States imposes the fourth highest death tax rate of any country in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In turn, Washington State has a maximum death tax rate of 20% — it is the highest in the country. That should grant some perspective of our state’s high death tax.
“Estates of the deceased are taxed if the assessed value exceeds $2.078 million, with the exemption threshold adjusted annually based on inflation. The minimum tax levied is 10% and maxes out at 20%, depending on the size of the estate.”
Small, family-owned businesses are not exempt from the tax, a fact that places them at a rather large, unfair disadvantage. As the Washington Policy Center points out, the state Department of Revenue collected more than $154 million in estate taxes last year — including from small businesses.
So, rather than allow family businesses to reinvest in the company, grow and create jobs, the state prefers to tax them at an inordinate rate. Adding insult to injury, it’s frustrating to note how often the state wastes millions on ridiculous expenses brought on by utter incompetency.
Meanwhile, corporations are exempt — another unfair disadvantage for small businesses when compared to their corporate competitors. Via the Washington Policy Center:
“The state’s estate tax suppresses entrepreneurship, impedes economic growth and discourages family businesses from remaining in or relocating to this state. Studies consistently conclude estate taxes are among the most harmful to a state’s economic growth.”
In the end, it’s all more proof that Democrats’ tax-crazed agenda is all about supporting special interests. It’s not about working families, or the economic wellbeing of our state.