Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) and State Representative Carl Walker Metzgar (R-69) have introduced legislation in the Senate and House that would ensure that children 21 years old and younger who inherit property when a natural, adoptive or step-parent passes away are not subject to the inheritance tax.
Stefano and Metzgar joined Somerset Register of Wills Sharon Ackerman at a news conference today in Somerset to call for the legislation.
Stefano said that currently, the inheritance tax law provides an inheritance tax rate of 0 percent on property transferred from a child aged 21 or younger to a natural parent, adoptive parent or step-parent. However, when property is transferred from the parent to the minor child, it is subject to an inheritance tax rate of 4.5 percent.
“There have been cases in Somerset County where a minor child has had to pay inheritance tax on property that was jointly owned, such as a joint savings account, when the parent passed away,” Stefano said. “My legislation would ensure that children are not subject to such a tax, which can be a serious financial burden for young people who have just faced the loss of a loved one.”
“It is unthinkable that as a young person mourns the death of a parent they also find out they have to pay taxes to the state,” Metzgar said. “This bill will correct this issue and save families a great deal of heartache.”
The legislators credited Ackerman for bringing the issue to their attention.
“It has broken my heart when I’ve had a young person in my office that just can’t understand why this is happening but my hands are tied by this unfair law, Ackerman said. “I’m very grateful that Senator Stefano and Representative Metzgar have taken on this issue and are working to address this injustice.”
CONTACT: Benjamen Wren- 724-626-1611