Washington, DC: Today the Family Business Coalition sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Paul Ryan, Chairman Orrin Hatch, and Chairman Kevin Brady, encouraging Congress to repeal the death tax as a component of comprehensive tax reform. 150 trade associations and advocacy organizations representing a wide range of America’s family businesses joined the letter, which details the punitive nature of the tax. The coalition letter states in part:

“The death tax is unfair. It makes no sense to require grieving families to pay a confiscatory tax on their loved one’s nest egg. Far too often this tax is paid by selling family assets like farms and businesses. Other times, employees of the family business must be laid off and payrolls slashed. No one should be punished for fulfilling the American dream.”

Palmer Schoening, Chairman of the Family Business Coalition said: “The Family Business Coalition appreciates the continued support of members from both legislative bodies in eliminating a tax that kills jobs, lowers wages, and squeezes family businesses out of the market”. The public overwhelmingly favors death tax repeal. A recent Ipsos poll demonstrated that over 70% of Americans support the elimination of the death tax. Additionally, the economic incentive to eliminate the estate tax is strong. Last year, the non-partisan Tax Foundation found repealing the estate tax would create 159,000 jobs over the next decade and raise the income of a family of four making $80,000 by $640 and an individual making $35,000 by $280.

In January, Congresswoman Kristi Noem and Senator John Thune released the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017, which would permanently eliminate the estate tax, and provide much needed relief to family business owners and farmers who hoped to pass their business on to the next generation. Identical legislation submitted by Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) in the 114th Congress passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, 240-179 in 2015.

A pdf of letter is available here.

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