SOUTH PORTLAND – The estate tax repeal bill vetoed by President Clinton is becoming an issue in the Maine congressional race between Republican Jane Amero and 1st District incumbent Rep. Tom Allen.
Amero, of Cape Elizabeth, called on Allen on Wednesday to support an override of Clinton’s veto. Amero said small-business owners and farmers are among those who would benefit from the legislation.
Amero, who is completing a stint as state Senate minority leader, said the tax can claim as much as 55 percent of an estate at the time of a family member’s death, preventing the deceased from passing farms and businesses to their children and grandchildren.
Democrat Allen agreed that there is a reason to provide estate tax relief for those who own family businesses. But he said the Republican-backed repeal of the estate tax is the wrong approach.
In a speech in June, Allen said the $50 billion-per-year cost when it’s fully phased in is excessive and could threaten Social Security and Medicare while lowering the likelihood of providing prescription drug coverage for the elderly.