U.S. Congress passes estate-tax provision with 35% rate

Article by Christian A., on December 18, 2010

The House has passed estate-tax legislation supported by the National Automobile Dealers Association. Expected to take into effect for 2011 and 2012, this estate-tax provision imposes a maximum 35 percent rate on inheritances of more than $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples.

This provision is included in a broad tax-cut package that has been sent to United States President Obama for his signature. In fact, Obama and congressional Republicans have already reached an agreement on this matter. Earlier this month, it was submitted to Congress and it was then passed by the Senate.

The estate-tax portion received plenty of criticism since it was deemed too partial to the wealthy by several House Democrats who had worked unsuccessfully to have the maximum rate increased to 45 percent on estates of over $3.5 million for individuals and $7 million for couples.

That was the 2009 rate. There was no estate tax in effect this year, but if Congress hadn't acted, the rate was due to increase Jan. 1 to 55 percent on estates of over $1 million per individual and $2 million per couple.

An American trade organization, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) represents nearly thousands of franchised new car and truck dealerships -- both domestic and foreign – in the United States. Headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia, NADA monitors federal legislation that affect dealerships as well as vehicle sales, including trade agreements, taxes automobile as well as highway safety. NADA also monitors environmental regulations such as those involving fuel efficiency and emissions.

In addition, NADA also publishes forecasts and reports about trends in the automotive industry. NADA also supports Americans Well-informed on Automobile Retailing Economics (AWARE), which was formed in 2005.

NADA traces its origins to May 1917, when a group of around 30 car dealers in Chicago formed an association in Washington, D.C. as prompted by a proposed 5 percent federal sales tax increase on all vehicles. The group was aimed at convincing members of US Congress that cars were "mass consumer goods," not luxury items. The dealer group managed to persuade the Congress to reduce the proposed luxury tax from 5 percent to 3 percent. The dealer group also successfully prevented the conversion of car making facilities into defense factories during World War I.

As there was a need for ongoing representation, 130 industry leaders gathered in Chicago in July 1917, and elected George Browne, a dealer from Milwaukee, as NADA’s first president. Its first sponsored federal legislation was the National Motor Vehicle Theft Law, which passed in 1919. In 1970, NADA gave birth to new division -- American Truck Dealers – to representing heavy- and medium-duty truck dealerships throughout the US.

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