NC Budget and Tax Center

Repealing Estate Tax Benefits Few, Harms Many

Twenty-three. This is the number of tax filers that were subject to the estate tax in North Carolina for tax year 2012 according to data from the NC Department of Revenue. The small number of taxpayers paying estate taxes doesn’t support claims made by proponents of eliminating the estate tax. Members of the House Finance committee recently voted to repeal the estate tax, with proponents claiming that the estate tax punishes those who have accumulated great wealth across North Carolina.

The estate tax only applies to the wealthiest individuals in the state and changes made to the estate tax as a part of the fiscal cliff deal will likely result in even fewer estates in North Carolina paying the tax. For 2013, the estate tax is only levied on the portion of an estate’s value that exceeds $5.25 million. In 2012, the tax year for which data is available, the threshold was $5.12 million.

Repealing the estate tax does not address any of the issues with the state’s upside-down tax system while providing beneficiaries of multi-million dollar estates a tax break. Furthermore, repealing the tax will reduce the availability of dollars for investment in the foundation of economic opportunity.

2 Comments


  1. Doug

    March 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    What actual “harm” is it that we do not take someone’s money off their death bed? I am guessing that any confiscation by the death tax is insignificant to the overall state budget if you put it this way, so there is really no reason to continue the hysteria over this issue.

  2. Doug

    March 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    This issue is also moot when you consider the blog post from a few days ago….you know the one where we are running a surplus under responsible Republican governance.

Check Also

New budget a roadmap full of potholes and an unclear destination

A new BTC report highlights how the new ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Few issues in the North Carolina’s contentious policy wars have been more consistently front and cen [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Will Burr and Tillis really vote for this? For much of the 20th Century, one of the labels that Amer [...]

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest ho [...]

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance P [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more