Washington, DC — June 7, 2001 — “President Bush and Congress displayed remarkable courage, leadership and perseverance in passing the most ambitious tax-cut plan in two decades,” said Tim Hammonds, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and chairman of the coalition Americans Against Unfair Family Taxation. He issued the statement today as President Bush signed the plan into law.

“Our President showed extraordinary leadership in keeping this plan intact through an extremely difficult political process. And he remained a man of his word, holding fast to his promise to repeal the death tax despite numerous attempts to replace it with weak substitutes.

“We would also like to commend the leaders on the tax-writing committees in Congress for all their hard work — especially Representative Bill Thomas and Senators Chuck Grassley and Max Baucus.

“The final result is a tax plan for the 21st century economy.” Hammonds said. “The tax cuts — and especially death tax repeal — help ensure that family businesses remain a vibrant part of that economy. It recognizes that entrepreneurs create two-thirds of the jobs in our nation and that they are often the best innovators of change.

“Family businesses also provide irreplaceable support for communities across America. This is especially the case with supermarkets, which anchor local economies everywhere.”

Need to Accelerate Phaseout of Estate Tax

“The plan sets a course that will help family businesses compete and flourish in the years to come,” Hammonds said. “The long phaseout period, however, poses a difficult challenge for family businesses. Now we must remain vigilant and ensure that we send death tax to its final grave.

“The sooner this tax is killed, the faster family businesses can grow, create jobs and serve their communities with the billions of dollars once used for estate tax planning, excessive life insurance premiums and the tax itself.”