ALL EYES TURN TO GOVERNOR O’MALLEY FOR ESTATE TAX CUT

Maryland is ready to shed its reputation as one of the “worst places to die,” if Governor Martin O’Malley signs recent estate tax legislation into law.

As previously blogged, the General Assembly passed a bill (HB 83) that would gradually increase the Maryland estate tax exemption from its current $1 million to more than $5 million over the next five years.

Forbes Magazine has labeled Maryland one of the worst places in the country to die, due in part to its estate tax.  If the new law goes into effect, Maryland’s ranking would increase dramatically, especially compared to its immediate neighbors Pennsylvania, New Jersey and DC.

Will the Governor sign it into law?  Vetoes are rare in Maryland, but O’Malley has been cagey about his views on this particular tax cut.  He never endorsed it, although he may have used it as leverage in his effort to push a minimum wage increase through the legislature.  In the end, he got most of the wage increase he wanted, so many expect him to follow through and sign the estate tax cut.

The Governor has set aside May 5 and May 14 for signing legislation, so we are sure to know his answer before Memorial Day.  Stay tuned.