The House has narrowly approved a measure making changes to the state’s estate tax for married couples in an effort to avoid refunding millions of dollars to estates following a state Supreme Court ruling.
The measure passed on a 51-40 vote Thursday and now heads to the Senate for consideration. The bill is a legislative workaround to last year’s ruling by the high court, which found that the estate tax did not apply to married couples who had used a certain estate planning tool prior to 2005. Officials say it would have cost the state $160 million over the next two years.
The Department of Revenue says it already has received 70 refund requests totaling between $40 million and $50 million from estates that had paid the taxes prior to the court ruling. Others have gone to court to seek refunds.