Estate Debate Millions of homeowners could face the specter of higher taxes in 2011, unless Congress acts to repeal or reform the estate tax, according to a new study released by the NAHB.

“Today, the estate tax is clearly an issue for family-owned businesses. Unless Congress acts quickly to permanently repeal this onerous tax, it could also ensnare millions of homeowners starting in 2011,” says David Pressly, NAHB president and a home builder from Statesville, N.C.

The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, signed into law by President Bush five years ago, will gradually phase out the estate tax until it is fully repealed in 2010. However, without permanent repeal or some type of reform, the tax will come roaring back in 2011 to its pre-2001 level—a 55 percent tax rate on amounts exceeding a $1 million exemption.

“The NAHB report shows that unless something is done, millions of additional families will one day face this burdensome tax, forcing them to engage in costly estate planning so that they can protect their homes for their heirs,” says Pressly. “This tax is a ticking time bomb, and Congress must act now to defuse it.”

Panel Talk A new resource is now available for builders and buyers of panelized homes. Panelized Homes: Custom Designs, Your Building Solution is a free publication available from the Building Systems Councils of the NAHB.

“In addition to being an excellent resource for consumers, this new publication helps builders explain to their clients the innovative panelized home choices now available,” says NAHB president David Pressly.

Panelized home building systems combine the best aspects of traditional on-site, stick-built construction with modern technology to deliver a well-designed home in less time.

You can request a copy of Panelized Homes online at www.nahb.org/panel.

New NAHB Honor Builder Paul Magleby, president of Pleasant Grove, Utah–based Magleby Cos., has been named the NAHB's first-ever Custom Home Builder of the Year. “He's the kind of building professional whom others in the industry look up to,” says Deann Huish, executive vice president of the Utah Valley HBA. “His name and company lend themselves to quality, professionalism, honesty, and integrity. These virtues cannot be purchased but must be earned over decades.”

Profit Plan More than a few residential builders and remodelers have walked away from closings with less profit than they had planned, due to poor estimating. Now there's help, thanks to a new release from BuilderBooks, the NAHB's book publishing division. In Defensive Estimating: Protecting Your Profits, author William Asdal teaches builders and remodelers how to estimate a job to protect their company's bottom line. Defensive Estimating is available for purchase at www.BuilderBooks.com or by calling 800-223-2665.