By Kent Phelps, Attorney, Durfee & Phelps PLLC

The estate tax issue may be closer to resolution today than any time in the last 9 years –at least for the next 24 months.  Earlier today, President Obama held a news conference confirming he has reached a compromise with Republicans on multiple tax issues, including the estate tax.  The preliminary agreement regarding estate taxes is a $5 million per individual estate tax exemption and a 35% estate tax rate for the next two years.

Republicans are lining up in support.  Liberal Democrats are in revolt.  There is certainly some back-room arm twisting going on in the Democratic Party as I write this post.

“We oppose acceding to Republican demands to extend the Bush tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires,” Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Obama “should not back down. Nor should we.”

The proposal obviously addresses other tax issues as well.  Given the roller coaster ride we took over the weekend, we will not attempt to summarize the details of this “kick the can down the road” proposal unless it passes the Senate.  If it doesn’t, it will be due to lack of support from within the President’s own party.