A provision in President Obama's tax proposal to reinstate the estate tax next year is dividing some conservative groups, throwing another wrinkle into the contentious debate. The proposal has enraged Democrats, who believe the estate tax should be significantly higher than Obama agreed to, but a parallel debate has erupted among conservatives, who have long pushed for the estate tax — which they refer to as the "death tax" — to be abolished completely. The estate tax for 2010 is set at zero, but, under current law, will revert to 55 percent for individuals worth more than $1 million if Congress doesn't act before the end of the year. The Obama plan, a compromise struck with Senate Republicans, would set the estate tax in 2011 at 35 percent with exemptions beginning at $5 million for individuals and $10 million for families.
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