Clinton proposes 65 percent tax on U.S. billionaire estates

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WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Thursday proposed raising taxes on inherited property to 65 percent for the largest estates as she bolstered plans for tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans.

Known by conservative opponents as the "death tax," the estate tax, levied on property transferred to heirs after its owner dies, currently is imposed only on inherited assets worth $5.4 million or more for an individual.

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Clinton's plan, posted on her campaign's website, would raise the estate tax from the current 40 percent to 45 percent, the rate that existed in 2009. But bigger estates would face rates of up to 65 percent for property valued at more than $1 billion per couple, under her proposal, an update of an earlier plan.

Jason Miller, a spokesman for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, issued a statement criticizing Clinton for a "dramatic hike in the death tax."

(Reporting by Emily Stephenson and Amanda Becker; Editing by Will Dunham)

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