Having been scrapped from Congress's legislative agenda in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax could be held in the Senate this week.

Pro-repeal organizations have been running a deluge of political ads since Memorial Day, targeting swing voters including Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La.; Max Baucus, D-Mont.; Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; and Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Estate-tax critic Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., had high hopes for a repeal vote scheduled for the fall of 2005 that was postponed by the need to pass hurricane relief packages. He has said thatin recent weeks that he is unsure whether he has the votes to pass a full repeal, especially as budget spending for the Iraq war and Katrina recovery has climbed.

President Bush phased out the estate tax as part of his first-term tax relief package, but after a one-year hiatus scheduled for 2010, the levy will begin phasing back into existence. According to the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, 12,600 estates will be taxed this year. The tax applies to inheritances in excess of $2 million -- and less than 1 percent of all taxpayers.

Some moderates are considering a compromise that would shield all but the wealthiest estates, though those bills have not been formally introduced.

Previously on WebCPA:

Frist: Vote to Repeal Estate Tax Coming (Sept. 2, 2005)

Congress to Take on Future of Estate Tax (July 21, 2005)AAA-CPA Warns of Estate Tax Repeal Problems (May 24, 2005)

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