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Morning update: 18 days left to reach budget deal (2nd special session day 2)

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on June 13, 2013 at 8:03 am |
June 13, 2013 9:40 am

A deal appears to be in the works on the estate tax, a key sticking point in budget negotiations.

House Finance Committee Chairman Reuven Carlyle, a Democrat who has been in talks with Republicans on the issue, tweeted last night:

Refund checks go out starting Friday morning to the heirs of wealthy estates based on a court ruling that found they shouldn’t have been charged the tax.

Today is the last day to avert the loss of revenue.

UPDATE 9 a.m.: Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom said through a spokesman that there’s no deal yet, but negotiators are making progress.

UPDATE 9:30 a.m.: Carlyle’s amendment is posted online. It ties the $2 million threshold to qualify for the tax to inflation; gives a $2.5 million deduction for the value of a family business worth up to $6 million; and offsets the deduction by raising the top four rates by 1 percent each.

In a summary, House Democrats wrote the new proposal “represents an agreement reached last night with Senate Rs.”

Still unclear, though, is whether the Republicans will stick to their guns on a demand for policy changes  in exchange for agreeing to the estate-tax fix. They want to use taxes as a lever to force what they see as reforms in workers’ compensation, teacher assignments and the growth of the budget.

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