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Death tax debate – Clinton will veto bill

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If the bill passed by the House last week to repeal the estate tax becomes law, it may discourage charitable giving, the Washington Post reported on June 13.

The legislation phases out the tax on estates worth more than $1.2 million. Supporters say it will help farmers and small entrepreneurs pass their businesses to their children.

Clinton has threatened a veto if the bill passes the Senate.

The government currently takes up to half of the portions of such estates that are not set aside for charity.

Supporters of the bill say that repealing the tax means the next generation would be wealthier and therefore more generous.

Peter Karoff, head of The Philanthropic Initiative in Boston, told the Post he has seen a new breed of philanthropy over the last few years that is not as closely tied to tax breaks. Karoff says this new philanthropy is driven by two forces.

“One force is the money, more than any other generation on earth has seen, and the other is the mood, the disposition to speak, of so many Americans who have become seekers of meaning in their lives, seeking to redefine their values, their spirituality,”

For full text of the article, go to the Washington Post.

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