2011-02-03 / Editorial

Ruggiero introduces inheritance legislation

Rep. Deborah Ruggiero has introduced legislation that would help make Rhode Island’s tax structure more competitive by raising the point at which an inheritance becomes subject to the estate tax.

In 2009, the Assembly raised that threshold from $675,000 to $850,000. That means an inheritance from someone other than a spouse, minus funeral expenses and debt, would have to be worth more than that amount to trigger the estate tax.

Rhode Island has one of the lowest estate tax exemptions in the nation, and a report suggests that it is causing wealthy people to leave the state, costing the state millions in income and tax revenue. The study states that the state has lost $540 million in tax revenue and $4.6 billion in income over the last 13 years due to an exit of upper-income Rhode Islanders.

“Our state is simply out of line with the rest of the nation on this exemption, and it would benefit our state as a whole if we caught up,” Ruggiero said.

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