CEI Joins Coalition Letter in Support of the Death Tax Repeal Act


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Congressman Jason Smith
1118 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Sanford Bishop
2407 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
CC: Congresswoman Kristi Noem

Dear Congressmen Smith and Bishop:

The undersigned organizations support your bill, the Death Tax Repeal Act.

We appreciate your work to lead the country towards a common sense tax code that does not impose a destructive double or triple tax at death. We support full and permanent repeal of the federal estate tax for the following reasons:

Repealing the death tax would spur job creation and grow the economy. Many studies have quantified the potential job growth that would result from estate tax repeal. Last year the Tax Foundation found that the US could create over 150,000 jobs by repealing the estate tax. A 2012 study by the House Joint Economic Committee found that the death tax has destroyed over $1.1 trillion of capital in the US economy – loss of small business capital means fewer jobs and lower wages. Lawrence Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton; Alicia Munell, member of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors; Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate for economics; and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former CBO Director have all published work on the death tax’s stifling effect on job growth and the economy as a whole.

The death tax contributes a very small portion of federal revenues. The estate tax currently accounts for approximately one half of one percent of federal revenue. There is a good argument that not collecting the estate tax would create more economic growth and lead to an increase in federal revenue from other taxes. A 2016 Tax Foundation analysis found repeal of the death tax would increase federal income taxes by $145 billion over 10 years using a more realistic, “dynamic” economic analysis. In addition, the death tax forces family businesses to waste money on expensive insurance policies and estate planning. These burdensome compliance costs make it even harder for business owners to expand their businesses and create more jobs.

A super-majority of likely voters support eliminating the death tax. Poll after poll has indicated that a super-majority of likely voters support repealing the estate tax. Typically, two-thirds of likely voters support full and permanent repeal of the death tax. People instinctively feel that the estate tax is not fair.

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.

The negative effects of the estate tax make permanent repeal the only solution for family businesses and farms. Your legislation will help America’s family businesses create jobs, expand operations, and grow the economy. We thank you for your leadership on this important issue.


AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology
Food Marketing Institute
Agricultural Retailers Association
Heating, Air-conditioning, & Refrigeration Distributors International
National Association of Electrical Distributors
National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association
National Cattleman’s Beef Association
American Supply Association
National Cotton Council of America
International Franchise Association
National Grocers Association
Associated Equipment Distributors
ALEC Action
Hardwood Federation
National Confectioners Association
Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association
American Trucking Associations
Institute For Liberty
Association of Mature American Citizens
Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Americans for Tax Reform
Forest Landowners Association
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.
National Association of Home Builders
Global Cold Chain Alliance
American Commitment
Log Cabin Republicans
Consumer Action for a Strong Economy
National Insulation Association
North American Meat Institute
Metal Construction Association
Truck Renting and Leasing Association
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Mason Contractors Association of America
Coalition of Franchisee Associations
Industrial Minerals Association – North America
International Sleep Products Association
National Taxpayers Union
Gases and Welding Distributors Association
NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association
Arizona Free Enterprise Club
ISSA—The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association
National Marine Manufacturers Association
National Electrical Contractors Association
Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association
NAHAD – The Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution
American Sheep Industry Association
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
National Grange
Associated Wire Rope Fabricators
International Housewares Association
Petroleum Marketers Association of America
American Conservative Union
American Bus Association
Association of Equipment Manufacturers
American Foundry Society
National Industrial Sand Association
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
Aeronautical Repair Station Association
Equipment Marketing & Distribution Association
National Club Association
National Christmas Tree Association
American Business Defense Council
Education Market Association
Frontiers of Freedom
Auto Care Association
National Black Chamber of Commerce
National Small Business Association
Club for Growth  
National Association for the Self-Employed
Conservatives for Property Rights
American Loggers Council
The Dude Ranchers’ Association
National Marine Distributors Association
International Association of Plastics Distribution (IAPD)
United States Cattlemen’s Association
International Sign Association
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council Family Business Association of California American Beverage Licensees
Professional Beauty Association
Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association
Americans for Prosperity
Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association
Maryland Taxpayers Association
Land Improvement Contractors of America
American Horse Council
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Franchise Business Services (representing Buffalo Wild Wings franchisees)
Tire Industry Association
Printing Industries of America
National Pasta Association
Kentucky Forest Industries Association
Independent Medical Distributors Association
Hispanic Leadership Fund
NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies
Irrigation Association
NACS – The Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing
National Candle Association
International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses
Rural & Agriculture Council of America
American Moving & Storage Association
American Rental Association
Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association
Water & Sewer Distributors of America
National Wooden Pallet & Container Association
Independent Electrical Contractors
National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC)
NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry
National Renderers Association
Equipment Dealers Association
Americans for Prosperity
NATSO, Representing America’s Travel Plazas and Truckstops
Metals Service Center Institute
Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association
National Franchisee Association (representing Burger King franchisee)
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades (SSDA-AT)  
National Utility Contractors Association
National Community Pharmacists Association
Jewelry Industry Distributors Association
Financial & Security Products Association
Wholesale Florists & Florist Supplier Association
Window and Door Manufacturers Association
The Latino Coalition
Let Freedom Ring
Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers Inc.
WMDA Service Station & Automotive Repair Association
60 Plus Association
Business & Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association
Washington Area New Auto Dealers Association
Convenience Distribution Association
Distribution Contractors Association
National Tax Limitation Committee
Power and Communication Contractors Association
American Pipeline Contractors Association
American Values
American Civil Rights Union
Less Government
Campaign for Liberty
Center for Individual Freedom
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
R-Street Institute
Heritage Action for America
U.S. Business and Industry Council
Home School Legal Defense Association
Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association
Institute for Policy Innovation
Family Business Coalition