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Fact Checker: Ads attack Tester, Rehberg on ‘Death Tax’

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Oct 01 2012 08:51:04 AM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

In weeks leading up to the election NBC Montana's been checking the facts on some of this year's political ads.

This addition of fact checker takes a look at where the candidates for Montana's senate seat, Jon Tester and Denny Rehberg, stand on the estate tax.

"I was really surprised Jon Tester voted for the death tax. He's voting for his party not for Montanans,” touts an ad paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee

It is true that in 2007 Senator Tester voted against an amendment to repeal the death tax completely.

However he supported the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010 that lowered estate tax rates, scheduled to increase in 2011 for. But the act kept the rate at 35 percent on estates worth more than $5 million.

Tester also recently co-sponsored a bill that would extend the current estate tax rates through 2013.

An ad paid for by Montanans for Tester comes back at the claims: "Congressman Rehberg voted to let Montanans get hit with the death tax."

It's true Congressman Rehberg did vote against the middle class tax relief act of 2010. However in 2001 Rehberg voted for a tax cut that would phase out the death tax until 2010. He also voted to eliminate the tax permanently in 2005.

This is a hot button issue right now because the current tax rate of 35 percent is set to expire in 2013. If there's no congressional action before then, the rate is scheduled to snap back to 55 percent next year