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By Janet Zink December 31, 2007

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.

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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.

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McCain wants to keep it on life support

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