Washington, DC — September 27, 2000 — The Blue Dog estate tax plan “provides relief but not a cure” for the federal estate tax, said Food Marketing Institute President and CEO Tim Hammonds, responding to a proposal released today by the coalition of fiscally conservative Democrats.

     “We are pleased to see rate reduction,” Hammonds said, “but if there is an agreement this year, the rates should be reduced further. Significant rate reduction is the only meaningful relief for asset-rich and cash-poor industries such as ours, in which a single supermarket puts companies well over the exemption levels.

     “This proposal is a good starting point for a bipartisan agreement to achieve significant estate tax rate reduction this year — and, ultimately, full repeal.”

     FMI leads a coalition of industry groups pushing for estate tax rate reduction this year — Americans Against Unfair Family Taxation. Hammonds serves as its co-chairman.