WBTV Speak Out: Estate Tax

"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.

Here's a riddle for you:

You, your daughter, and I are standing on a street corner.

You and I don't know each other.

You've got a hundred dollars in your hand you just earned from painting a house.

You step off the curb, get hit by a truck and, sorry to say, you don't make it.

What happens to the $100?

Answer: Your daughter gets $45 of it, and I - a total stranger - walk away with 55.

Absurd, right?

Well, that's the principle behind the Estate Tax.

Money that you've worked hard for -- that you've diligently saved -- gets split between your heirs and the government.

And Uncle Sam gets most of it.

We realize there is an exempted amount, and many of us won't ever make it to that exemption level.

But the question remains, "Why is the state entitled to your money simply because you die?"

It's money likely already taxed - whether through income, sales, personal property or capital gains tax.

Back in 19-16, the federal government decided it wanted more income.

This is one way they raised it.

94 years later, it's still soaking hard-working Americans.

Farmers, small business owners, and couples with 401-ks or life insurance are particularly vulnerable.

We think it's just plain wrong.

If you agree, write your senators and representatives.

They'll soon be deciding where the Estate Tax goes from here.

For the sake of your children, tell them YOU want it to go away.

Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com