NJ May Change Inheritance Tax

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -

Lawmakers are looking into repealing New Jersey’s inheritance tax and raising the threshold for paying an estate tax.

The state is one of only two that taxes both now. The inheritance tax makes those other than the spouse, child, parent or grandparent of the deceased pay when they inherit more than $25,000. Critics say that’s discriminatory and a burden for those who are willed money or property by aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings or other relatives or friends.

And the estate tax kicks in when a person’s estate is worth more than $675,000 — a threshold met by many homeowners, even those without much wealth.

A bill with bipartisan sponsorship calls for raising that threshold to match the federal one — $5.34 million.

Gov. Chris Christie has said several times that he wants to see the system changed, blaming the law as a reason some wealthy people are leaving the state. But some liberals caution that changes would reduce the $760 million a year the state now gets from the programs.