Massive Coalition Urges Congress to Repeal Death Tax

Senator John Thune
511 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Congresswoman Kristi Noem
2457 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
CC: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Paul Ryan, Chairman Orrin Hatch, Chairman Kevin Brady, and Congressman Sanford Bishop

Dear Senator Thune and Congresswoman Noem:

The undersigned organizations support your bill, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017.

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; andDouglas 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. A 2016 state poll by YouGov conducted in South Dakota showed 75 percent of voters supported repealing the estate 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.

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 continued 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 and Building Material Dealers Association

International Foodservice Distributors Association    

Convenience Distribution Association    

Associated Equipment Distributors

International Franchise Association    

American Supply Association    

National Cotton Council of America

American Architectural Manufacturers Association    

Hardwood Federation    

National Confectioners Association

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives    

American Trucking Association  

Associated General Contractors of America

Association of Mature American Citizens    

Air Conditioning Contractors of America    

Americans for Tax Reform

Forest Landowners    

Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.    

National Association of Home Builders

Industrial Supply Association    

National Insulation Association    

North American Meat Institute

Printing Industries of America    

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

National Automatic Merchandising Association    

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association    

North American Die Casting Association

ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association    

United Fresh Produce Association    

National Electrical Contractors Association

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association    

NAHAD – The Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution    

Hardwood Manufacturers Association

Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of America    

National Grange  

Associated Wire Rope Fabricators

International Housewares Association    

Petroleum Marketers Association of America    

American Conservative Union

Heritage Action for America    

Association of Equipment Manufacturers    

American Foundry Society

National Industrial Sand Association    

Window & Door Manufacturers Association    

Aeronautical Repair Station Association

Equipment Marketing & Distribution Association    

Free Congress Action    

National Christmas Tree Association

American Business Defense Council    

Education Market Association

National Association of Chemical Distributors

National Renderers Association

Equipment Dealers Association

Americans for Prosperity

Club for Growth

National Propane Gas Association

National Funeral Directors Association

Global Cold Chain Alliance

American Commitment

Log Cabin Republicans

American Loggers Council    

The Dude Ranchers’ Association    

R-Street Institute

International Association of Plastics Distribution    

United States Cattlemen's Association    

International Sign Association

Auto Care Association    

National Black Chamber of Commerce  

National Small Business Association

Professional Beauty Association    

Materials Handling Equipment Distributors Association    

American International Automobile Dealers Association

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council    

NACS – The Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing    

American Beverage Licensees

National Roofing Contractors Association    

Water & Sewer Distributors of America  

Western Growers Association

Woodworking Machine Industry Association  

American Horse Council    

Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Aviation Suppliers Association    

American Council of Engineering Companies    

Metals Service Center Institute

Hispanic Leadership Fund    

NPES – The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies    

Irrigation Association

Forest Landowners Tax Council    

Florida Armenians, LLC    

International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses

Franchise Business Services    

Tire Industry Association    

Jeffersonian Project

Rural Agriculture Council of America    

American Moving & Storage Association  

American Rental Association

Independent Electrical Contractors    

National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds    

NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry

NATSO, Representing America's Travel Centers and Truckstops    

National Grocers Association    

Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association

National Franchisee Association    

Competitive Enterprise Institute    

Taxpayer Protection Alliance

Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades    

National Utility Contractors Association    

National Community Pharmacists Association

Modification and Replacement Parts Association    

WMDA Service Station & Automotive Repair Association    

60 Plus Association

American Civil Rights Union    

Let Freedom Ring    

National Precast Concrete Association

Campaign for Liberty    

Americans for Constitutional Action    

Less Government

U.S. Business and Industry Council    

National Tax Limitation Committee    

United Egg Producers

Family Business Coalition