Washington, DC — March 16, 2001 — A delegation of Food Marketing Institute (FMI) members led by President and CEO Tim Hammonds are attending a special White House briefing by President Bush today on his tax-cut plan. They are part of a select group of family business owners invited to the event to learn from the president how his plan would benefit small and family entrepreneurs.

They are expressing strong support for the plan as “a much-needed catalyst for the economy, consumer spending and business growth,” Hammonds said, adding that “the plan comes at a time when our nation needs it most.”

The delegation includes Richard H. Niemann, Sr., chairman and CEO of Niemann Foods, Inc., in Quincy, IL; Steve Smith, president and COO of K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc., in Abingdon, VA; Christy Spoa, Sr., president of Ellwood City Save-A-Lot in Ellwood City, PA; and William Sumas, executive vice president of Village Super Markets, Inc., in Springfield, NJ.

At the meeting with President Bush, they are discussing the importance of repealing the estate tax — both as “an economic stimulus and much-needed relief for family businesses,” Hammonds said. The FMI members are emphasizing the need for complete repeal, citing Institute-sponsored research showing that accelerating the timetable for repeal would provide the nation a greater economic stimulus.

They also are focusing on how the across-the-board cuts would benefit supermarkets by increasing consumer spending and by reducing taxes for the many family businesses that pay business income taxes at personal tax rates, not corporate rates. Two-thirds of FMI’s member companies pay income taxes at the personal rates.

FMI is playing a leading role in promoting the tax-relief plan as it moves through Congress. The Institute is represented on the Managing and Steering Committees of the Tax Relief Coalition. Tim Hammonds serves as co-chairman of Americans Against Unfair Family Taxation, a group of associations for the food and other businesses whose mission is to repeal the federal estate tax.