D.C. Budget Update: Estate Tax Threshold Lowered Pending Final Approval


On July 28 2020, the D.C. Council approved the “Budget Support Act” – a series of policy changes tied to the implementation of the city’s 2021 budget. The proposed legislation includes a series of tax increases for the upcoming fiscal year (beginning October 1) in an effort to fund to a range of social services, such as the construction of affordable housing, grants and programs supporting disadvantaged businesses, and mental health treatment in schools.

While the council rejected a proposal to raise the income tax on high income earners, they voted to lower the threshold for imposing estate taxes from $5.6 million to $4 million for decedents who die after December 31, 2020, with inflation adjustment beginning in 2022. This change is expected to generate an estimated $1.8 million in tax revenue for the city.

The budget still needs Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature and congressional approval to officially become law.

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