From: The Honorable Janice D. Schakowsky
Sent By:

Date: 2/2/2017

Dear Colleague,

I invite you to be an original cosponsor as Senator Bernie Sanders and I reintroduce the Responsible Estate Tax Act to make the wealthiest Americans contribute their fair share to our country’s needs.

As economic gains in recent years have gone almost entirely to the rich, the wealthiest 5% of Americans now hold more than 60% of the nation’s wealth. But, instead of working to ensure that they pay their fair share in taxes, President Trump has proposed
a massive tax cut for the super-wealthy by repealing the estate tax.

Why would he cut taxes when we’re already short on revenue? Well, it could save his and his Cabinet’s families billions of dollars. In fact, they could reduce their families’ tax liability by up to $9 billion if estate tax repeal goes into effect.*

The families of Trump and his Cabinet don’t need a massive tax break when Americans are struggling to get by. The Responsible Estate Tax Act would increase taxes on inheritances from multi-millionaires and billionaires. The Responsible Estate
Tax Act sets three estate tax brackets and creates a new surtax for estates valued over $1 billion:

  • 45% for the value of an estate between $3.5 million ($7 million for couples) and $10 million
  • 50% for the value of an estate between $10 million and $50 million
  • 55% for the value of an estate in excess of $50 million
  • An additional surtax of 10% for estates over $1 billion

Raising the estate tax would raise vital revenue without raising taxes on middle-class Americans.
In fact, 99.7% of Americans would see no tax increase at all. The first $3.5 million of an estate ($7 million for a couple) would be exempt from the estate tax. Family farmers would be further protected by allowing the value of farmland to be lowered
by $3 million for estate tax purposes.

Who is this 0.3% who would see a tax increase under the bill? They include some recognizable names: Trump, DeVos, McMahon, Mnuchin, Price, Puzder, Ross, and Tillerson. In fact, the potential tax liability of the families of Trump and his Cabinet could increase
roughly $5 billion under this legislation.* If they want to really make America great, they should pay their fair share of taxes.

If you have any questions or would like to be an original cosponsor, please contact Matt Hayward at or (202) 225-2111.



Member of Congress


* These are rough calculations based on the stated or reported net worth of the President, Vice President, Cabinet appointments, and sub-Cabinet appointments (where information was available) using the current 40% tax rate and proposed rates under the Responsible
Estate Tax Act. Revenue potentially collected under current law is likely lower given tactics to avoid taxation.