|By Alex Nixon, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review|
The state's inheritance tax can leave heirs scrambling to cover a tax bill. And many end up selling the business or taking out costly loans.
"If something were to happen suddenly to my father, there would have been tens of thousands of dollars of estate taxes owed," said
Cranston owns 80 percent of the business founded by his grandfather in 1957, and his father is alive and well.
But a bill before
Unlike the federal estate tax, which only applies to the value of an estate above
"This has forced many families to sell off essential business resources just to pay the tax, and it forces some families to leave the business altogether," Bloom said. "This is an unnecessary loss to our economy and our next generation of job creators."
Cranston said his company isn't very big but it still has a "multi-million" dollar valuation. "It doesn't take much of a business to be worth a million," he said.
The 4.5 percent tax, which applies to children inheriting from their parents, would mean a bill of
Many companies take out insurance policies to cover an unexpected state tax bill, Cranston said.
Bloom said the bill he introduced this month is modeled after a proposal he introduced last year to exempt family-owned farms from the inheritance tax. A similar bill also was introduced in the
The budget and tax deal signed into law last year by Gov.
Pileggi also plans to push a
"In far too many cases, the heirs to small companies cannot afford to pay the inheritance tax when the business owner dies, and they are forced to either liquidate the business's assets or sell the business," he said.
"It has the greatest chance of being enacted it's had in the last 20 years," Shivers said, citing Corbett's stand on eliminating the tax. He said many lawmakers are looking for any way to boost jobs in the state, he said.
"Everyone claims to want to help small business," he said. "This particular proposal actually does help small business."
Bloom's proposal, House bill 48, is scheduled to receive a hearing in the