By Tim Leeds 

Rep. Rehberg moves to end estate tax


Montana's U. S. Rep. Denny Rehberg again is working on legislation to eliminate estate taxes, limit gift tax rates and increase exemptions.

"Montana's small businesses, farmers and ranchers may look rich to the IRS suits in Washington, but we all know the reality on the ground isn't so rosy, " Rehberg said in a press release announcing the bill. "The Montana families have their value stored in land or equipment. "

Rehberg supported legislation that ended estate taxes by 2010, but a temporary extension in 2010 brought back a 55-percent rate and a $1 million exclusion.

Rehberg and Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas have sponsored legislation eliminating the estate tax and limiting gift taxes to 35 percent with a $5-million lifetime gift tax exemption.

Montana Grain Grower Association Treasurer Ryan McCormick applauded the bill.

"With our cost of production becoming more capital intensive every year, it is imperative that the death tax be eliminated if we expect the next generation of farmers to continue to produce the world's food supply, " said McCormick, who farms near Kremlin.

Rehberg also added an amendment to an appropriations bill that would exclude children's off-road vehicles from prohibitions of lead on the vehicles, a prohibition which has caused a major stir in Montana.

"It's obvious the Consumer Product Safety Commission has ignored the intent of the law, " said Rehberg. "While the original legislation was intended to keep kids safe from lead content in toys, the overreaching enforcement wound up putting them at risk by forcing them to use larger, more dangerous machines that are intended only for adults. While I'm working on a permanent fix to get rid of this dangerous regulation, my appropriations language will buy more time. "


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