The New York State Tax Relief Commission has gotten behind legislation introduced by state Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. that would raise the estate tax exemption from $1 million to $5 million.
Thiele, of Sag Harbor, said, “The estate tax has been a major disincentive to agriculture on the East End. Farmers have been often forced to sell farmland to developers in order to pay the tax. It has had a similar adverse impact on small businesses. In fact, because the exemption amount has not been adjusted to keep pace with home values, more and more middle income residents are finding themselves subject to the tax. I am hopeful that the full state legislature will embrace this recommendation as part of the 2014 state budget so this inequity is finally corrected.”
The tax relief commission, whose members are appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, aims to increase the exemption to $5.25 million and to reduce the tax rate from 16 percent to 10 percent.
According to Thiele’s office, who introduced his legislation back in February, only two states have a lower exemption amount than New York’s current rate of $1 million. Raising the exemption is expected to save taxpayer’s $381 million.