WASHINGTON — The nation's largest association of auto dealers is seeking a compromise on the federal estate tax.
Last week, leaders of the National Automobile Dealers Association proposed a permanent rate of 35 percent on the taxable portion of an estate. That request is a pullback from NADA's long-held support for permanent repeal of the tax.
The 2009 rate is 45 percent, with a $3.5 million exemption.
NADA Chairman Annette Sykora, a multifranchise dealer from Slaton, Texas, called the proposed compromise "something we can live with."
Sykora and other NADA members made lobbying visits to Capitol Hill last week. The association represents more than 20,000 franchised dealers.
In 2001, dealers and other business groups won a phaseout of the estate tax. The tax previously had rates as high as 55 percent.
Business leaders argued that the so-called death tax threatened the survival of family-owned enterprises.
The phaseout will be completed in 2010. But without further action by Congress and the next administration, the tax will return in full force in 2011. Some members of Congress suggest the 45 percent rate should become permanent.