Washington, DC — Sept. 7, 2000 — Noting the widespread public support for repealing the federal estate tax, the grocery industry urged the House today to override President Clinton’s veto of the Death Tax Elimination Act (H.R. 8). This position was expressed by Tim Hammonds, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), as the House prepared to cast an override vote.

Public support for repeal is documented in numerous surveys, including the current www.vote.com poll, in which 94 percent believe Congress should override the veto. As of this morning, more than 44,000 had expressed this view out of the nearly 47,000 persons responding to the online poll.

“Their support is well-founded,” said Hammonds. “The estate tax stunts business growth, competition and innovation. It costs jobs. It discourages saving. Grocers spend thousands of dollars every year to plan their estate strategy and carry additional life insurance to help their families cope with this tax — wasting precious capital that could be invested in economic growth that benefits consumers, employees and communities."

Hammonds noted that more than 500 of the 535 members of Congress have acted to repeal or substantially reduce the estate tax this year in three key votes. Among these were the 65 Democrats who voted for the Death Tax Elimination Act.

“Estate tax repeal is clearly a bipartisan measure,” Hammonds said. “It transcends election year politics. We appeal to both parties to recognize this reality and to act in the best interest of the American public and the economy.”