Higher estate tax exemption moving forward in Maryland legislature

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -  A measure to raise the amount of money exempted from estate taxes in Maryland is moving forward in the Legislature.

The Senate gave initial approval on Wednesday to a bill that already has passed the House of Delegates.

The measure would recouple Maryland's estate tax to the federal one in several years. Now, Maryland estates worth more than $1 million are taxed at a rate of up to 16 percent, while the federal government exempts the first $5.3 million and taxes money above that amount at 40 percent.

The Maryland bill would raise the exemption to $1.5 million next year and $2 million in 2016. The exemption would rise to $3 million in 2017 and $4 million in 2018 before being coupled with the federal exemption in 2019.

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