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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Death to the ‘death tax’

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I agree with all that was written in "Taxing marriage" (Commentary, Thursday). I have another beef with allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire in January: the resulting reinstitution of the so-called "death tax." I'm 83 years old, retired and most concerned where my hard-earned "estate" will go.

Under President George W. Bush's plan, there was no taxation of money or other values below $5 million that are willed to heirs upon one's death. But if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, the old 35 percent tax on estates worth more than $500,000 will be back in place.

Very simply analyzed, this is a double taxation. All that I own, have invested or earned was all taxed at some earlier time at some rate. Having it taxed again -- when it is turned over to my heirs -- would simply be double taxation. I have paid tax on all my earnings, irrespective of their sources, inclusive of interest from investments and retirement funds. Why should they be treated as taxable earnings for my heirs?

It must be recognized that most of us have worked hard and paid all appropriate taxes on our earnings -- and we've done so with our families in mind.

SEYMOUR AUERBACH

Chevy Chase

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