Failure of the U.S. Senate to vote on permanent repeal of the estate tax is greeted with mixed emotions in Missouri – criticized by some … and applauded by others. The failure to end a filibuster and force an up or down vote is disappointing to Charlie Kruse, President of the Missouri Farm Bureau, who says taxes owed by the estate of someone who dies often lead to the heirs being forced to sell the family farm or small business because ot the high tax burden. Tom Kruckemeyer, Chief Economist with the Missouri Budget Project, is a supporter of keeping the so called death tax. He says the family farm is not at risk because exemptions are in place to protect those farms. He adds the state needs the revenue that comes from the estate tax to pay for such things as education and social services. Under the current law, the tax is gradually reduced through 2009 and then is repealed for one year in 2010 before returning to its 2001 levels in 2011. Missouri Senators Kit Bond and Jim Talent unsuccessfully voted in favor of ending the filibuster and forcing a vote.
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