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Pickett Votes to End Death Tax on Small Businesses

HARRISBURG – Families who inherit a small business would be relieved of the inheritance tax burden under legislation passing through the state House this week and co-sponsored by Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna).

“Sadly, many family-owned businesses do not survive past the third generation because of the heavy burden caused by the state’s inheritance tax,” said Pickett, a former small business owner. “Inheritance taxes can range from 4.5 percent to 15 percent on the value of the business, depending on to whom the business is being transferred. That hefty burden can cause surviving family members to liquidate assets, including the business, just to pay the tax.”

House Bill 48, which passed the House unanimously on June 24, would eliminate the state’s inheritance tax on assets of family-owned business enterprises transferred upon death to other family members, such as a sibling or lineal descendant. This would allow business owners to keep their businesses viable.

Currently, Pennsylvania is one of the few states left to impose an inheritance tax on the heirs of deceased residents.

“To strengthen our economy, we must enact sound, responsible policies that seek to encourage the creation and retention of jobs in our state,” Pickett said. “This legislation is yet another step forward in helping to create a welcoming, positive climate for small businesses.”

House Bill 48 now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

Representative Tina Pickett
110th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Jennifer Keaton
(717) 705-2094 /
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