The Truth-O-Meter Says:

"McCain opposes repeal of the death tax."

Mitt Romney on Friday, December 28th, 2007 in a TV ad

McCain wants to keep it on life support

Gov. Mitt Romney has a television ad in New Hampshire that attacks Sen. John McCain for his positions on taxes and illegal immigrants.

Specifically, he charges that McCain "opposes repeal of the death tax," officially called the estate tax, a tax on the property passed forward and received at death.

Just looking at the votes, Romney is right. The issue has come before the U.S. Senate at least three times, and each time McCain voted against permanently repealing the estate tax.

But in a closer look at McCain's record, we find he supports a plan that would render the tax moot for most people.

McCain says he wants a tax exemption on estates worth up to $10-million and a 15 percent tax on inheritances worth more than that.

Under that plan, about 95 percent of the estate tax returns filed in 2006 would be exempt, according to Internal Revenue Service statistics. Which means the tax would survive for only the wealthiest few.

Still, given McCain's votes against repealing the tax, we rule Romney's claim Mostly True.

About this statement:

Published: Monday, December 31st, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Subjects: Taxes


U.S. Senate roll call vote on repeal of the estate tax, May 26, 2001

U.S. Senate roll call vote on repeal of the estate tax, Feb. 13, 2002

U.S. Senate roll call vote on repeal of the estate tax, June 12, 2002

Internal Revenue Service statistics on 2006 estate tax returns

Written by: Janet Zink
Researched by: Nell Benton
Edited by: Amy Hollyfield

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