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State Estate Tax

Posted on 02/12/16

There has been a lot of discussion in the media in the last several years about Federal estate tax. But do you know what the status is with state estate tax? Luckily, we live in Florida and do not have any state estate tax. However, there are still several states (as listed below) that have estate tax, and six states have an inheritance tax.

If you are a resident of any of those states, you may be surprised that the state imposes a tax at death. Even if you are a Florida resident but own some real estate or property in any of those states, you may also be impacted by the state estate tax. This is an area that should be reviewed carefully during your estate planning process.

Another interesting fact about the state estate tax is that the states have many different exemption amounts. Even if the current Federal estate exemption is $5,450,000, that may not be the case for the state estate tax. Many states have not increased the exemption amount over the years. There is still one state that has an exemption amount as low as $675,000, and several others only $1,000,000.

That would mean that if you are a resident of that state or if you owned real estate in that state and the value is over the exemption amount, you could be paying some state estate tax even though you may not have any Federal estate tax liability.

Many states make changes on an annual basis in the exemption amount or method used for calculating the tax. So besides reviewing this area in your estate planning process, you need to be aware if and when changes are made. State estate tax is definitely something that you need to review on a regular basis.

The following states impose an estate tax.

State 2016
Exemption Amount
Top Tax Rate
Connecticut $2,000,000 12%
Delaware $5,450,000 16%
District of Columbia $1,000,000 16%
Hawaii $5,450,000 16%
llinois $4,000,000 16%
Maine $5,450,000 12%
Maryland $2,000,000 16%
Massachusetts $1,000,000 16%
Minnesota $1,600,000 16%
New Jersey    $675,000 16%
New York (4/1/16) $4,187,500 16%
Oregon $1,000,000 16%
Rhode Island $1,500,000 16%
Vermont $2,750,000 16%
Washington $2,054,000 20%

The following states have an inheritance tax for transfers at death.

New Jersey

If you would like more information on state estate tax, please contact me, Barbara Jones, CPA/CFP® and Shareholder, at or 941-365-4617.  I am happy to assist you with any of your questions.

About the Author

Barbara A. Jones


Kerkering, Barberio & Co.
1990 Main Street, Suite 801
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 365-4617

Ms Jones leads the firm’s Estate and Trust Planning practice. Her areas of practice include Individual and Business Tax Consulting.

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