The House was expected to take up a bill during the week of Nov. 30 that would freeze the estate tax permanently at 2009 levels. As a floor vote drew near, industry sources said they expected easy passage of the measure, which would keep the estate-tax exemption at $3.5 million for individuals. The maximum tax rate would remain at 45%.

Democratic leaders in Congress and the Obama administration say a legislative “fix” is needed to ensure the inheritance tax does not revert in 2011 to pre-Bush era levels, when an estate-tax reform bill enacted in 2001 expires.

The Associated General Contractors supports the House bill, says Karen Lapsevic, director of tax and fiscal affairs. But she says AGC would prefer a lower exemption level and top tax rate.