As Gates, Disney, Rockefeller Push For Revenue, Momentum Grows for Action on Higher Estate Tax

December 11, 2012

For Immediate Release

As Gates, Disney, Rockefeller Push For Revenue, Momentum Grows for Action on Higher Estate Tax

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As billionaires and millionaires release a plan for higher estate tax revenue to avert damaging cuts, Americans for Tax Fairness – a national campaign that supports passing the middle-class tax cuts for 98 percent of American taxpayers and ending those tax cuts for the richest 2 percent – released a national action alert to supporters today urging them to pressure members of Congress to adopt President Obama’s plan to raise the estate tax, as part of an overall tax package to make the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.

In 2012, just 2 out of 1,000 estates will pay an estate tax, which means 99.8 percent of estates are exempt from the tax, including all but 30 family farms and small businesses. Obama’s plan, which would return the estate tax to the 2009 level and exempt estates of under $7 million per couple from any tax, would raise an additional $120 billion over 10 years and result in just 3 out 1,000 estates paying the estate tax. A fact sheet on the details is here:


“Nothing is more morally repugnant in Washington than lawmakers and lobbyists battling to prevent multi-million dollar estates from having to pay a modest amount in taxes, even as the very rich propose to reduce the deficit on the backs of the most vulnerable Americans,” said Frank Clemente, campaign manager for Americans for Tax Fairness. “It’s time the estates of the super-wealthy pay their fair share of taxes to help reduce the deficit and grow the economy.”

More than two dozen prominent billionaires, millionaires and high-profile Americans – including Bill Gates, Sr., Robert E. Rubin, Abigail Disney, and Richard Rockefeller – are calling for raising significantly more revenue from the federal estate tax than what is being proposed by President Obama. You can read more here.

post-election poll by Hart Research for Americans for Tax Fairness found that by a margin of 58 to 32 people support “increase[ing] the the estate tax, also called the inheritance tax, on estates of more than seven million dollars for a couple.” (Question 15 in toplines).

Polling released on Monday by POLITICO/George Washington University further showed the growing momentum of raising taxes on the wealthiest households. Sixty percent of Americans who responded support raising taxes on households that earn more than $250,000 a year and 64 percent want to raise taxes on large corporations.

You can read the full text of the national action alert here:

Did you know that just 2 out of 1,000 estates in America currently pay the estate tax? It’s a miniscule number that only affects the mega-rich, and we’re trying to strengthen it.

Just this morning, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates Sr., former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, Richard Rockefeller, and a host of other very wealthy Americans signed a letter demanding that Congress strengthen the estate tax so that at least 3 in 1,000 estates would pay it.

Add your name next to Warren Buffett and Bill Gates Sr. and send this letter to Congress.

Republicans and a few Democrats in Congress are, once again, trying to weaken or even eliminate a responsible tax on the estates of the wealthiest Americans – one that, if strengthened could raise at least $120 billion to help us invest in education, new roads and bridges, Medicare and Medicaid, and pay down the debt.

Write to your U.S. Senators and tell them that you are also signing onto this letter, and that it’s time to strengthen the estate tax now.

We’ve got some helpful facts on the page link, as well as the full text of the letter.

The Donald Trumps and Paris Hiltons of the world don’t need another tax break – they can afford to pay their fair share.

Let’s do this,


Trevor Thomas

Communications Director

Americans for Tax Fairness


The alert online: