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CEI Joins Coalition Letter Urging Repeal of Estate Tax

Coalition Letters

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CEI Joins Coalition Letter Urging Repeal of Estate Tax

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Dear Leader McConnell, Speaker Ryan, Chairman Hatch, and Chairman Brady,

The undersigned organizations 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 the inclusion of full and permanent repeal of the federal estate tax as part of comprehensive tax reform for these 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. Earlier this year over 700 economists, including 4 Nobel Laureates, joined Milton Friedman’s open letter calling for death tax repeal.

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. A national NPR poll conducted by Ipsos in April of this year showed that 76 percent of Americans supported repealing the death tax.

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.

Repeal is supported by majorities in both chambers. In April 2015 the House of Representatives passed the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 (H.R. 1105) with bipartisan support 240-179. Similarly, the Senate passed an amendment (S. Amdt. 607) calling for repeal of the estate tax as part of its FY2016 budget vote-a-rama; the amendment received 54 bipartisan votes. These votes show support for repeal from a bipartisan majority in the House and Senate.

The negative effects of the estate tax make permanent repeal the only solution for family businesses and farms. Estate tax repeal should be a significant part of any comprehensive tax reform plan, and will help America’s family businesses create jobs, expand operations, and grow the economy. We thank you for your continued leadership on this important issue.

Signed,

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
Financial & Security
Products 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
AmericanHort 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
American Legislative
Exchange Council
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
National Renderers
Association
Equipment Dealers
Association
Americans for Prosperity
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
Auto Care Association National Black Chamber of
Commerce
National Small Business
Association
Small Business &
Entrepreneurship Council
Family Business Association
of California
American Beverage
Licensees
Professional Beauty
Association
Material Handling Equipment
Distributors Association
FreedomWorks
Outdoor Power Equipment
and Engine Service
Association
Water & Sewer Distributors of
America
Western Growers
Association
Land Improvement
Contractors of America
American Horse Council Center for Freedom and
Prosperity
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
Independent Lubricant
Manufacturers Association
Kitchen Cabinet
Manufacturers Association
Maryland Taxpayers
Association
Franchise Business Services
(representing Buffalo Wild
Wings franchisees)
Tire Industry Association Printing Industries of
America
Rural & Agriculture Council
of America
American Moving & Storage
Association
American Rental Association
Independent Electrical
Contractors
National Association of RV
Parks & Campgrounds
(ARVC)
NTEA – The Association for
the Work Truck Industry
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
Sazerac
Service Station Dealers of
America and Allied Trades
(SSDA-AT)
National Utility Contractors
Association
National Community
Pharmacists Association
Jewelry Industry Distributors
Association
National Roofing Contractors
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
National Ready Mixed
Concrete Association
National Wooden Pallet &
Container Association
Family Business Coalition