State should repeal its inheritance tax

If you were one of six individuals out of 50 to “make the playoffs,” you’d probably be pretty pleased with yourself.

But what if I told you that Pennsylvania was one of only six states that still has an inheritance tax.

Pennsylvania imposes this tax on the value of your estate at the time of your death. Four and one-half percent (4.5 percent) on assets is passed to relatives, excluding siblings, which is 12 percent.

There is no tax on assets passed on to a spouse.

This amounts to double taxation on money you’ve earned and already paid taxes on.

But help is on the way — maybe. State Sen. Michele Brooks from northwestern Pennsylvania has introduced two bills (SB27 and SB28) this year that would gradually phase out the inheritance tax.

What’s not to like about eliminating a tax?

This is the fourth time, going back to 2013, when then-Rep. Brooks first introduced this legislation in the House, then three more times after she was elected to the Senate.

Sadly, her legislation rarely makes it out of committee and has never passed beyond a first consideration.

If you live in the 30th Senatorial district, you might be pleased to know that Sen. Judy Ward, your state senator, is a sponsor of these two bills, along with 13 to 16 other senators.

If you don’t like the idea of your life savings being taxed a second time, you might want to communicate to Sen. Ward how you feel — unless you’re not planning on dying and/or don’t care.

Jeff Bowman



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