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An estate tax is a tax on the transference of an individual’s property at the time of his or her death. According to Forbes (look it up), the estate tax changed significantly under the new 2017 federal tax law. Under the old tax law, individuals could gift nearly $5.5 million tax-free to their children. Under the new tax law which took effect this year, individuals can now gift $11.18 million tax-free. This means that now, according to Forbes, a married couple with planning can gift up to nearly $22.5 million to their children tax-free.

This estate tax change does not benefit me or most of us in Montana, of course, where the median income is $50,027. However, Rep. Greg Gianforte did vote for this 2017 tax change, and Rep. Gianforte is not simply a millionaire. He is the second-richest person in both the Senate and House of Representatives with a net worth of $136 million.

No matter what the outcome of the next election for this congressional seat, it appears to those of us who can do the math that Gianforte (and multi-millionaire Sen. Daines, too) has been very successful at handing his children a very, very handsome gift.

Oh yes, and this also at a cost to public revenue in a time of national debt crisis.

David Strong

Billings

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