Washington, DC — April 17, 2002 — “Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (SD) cast a dark cloud over the economic future of family businesses across the U.S. yesterday by vowing to ‘never’ allow the Senate to consider legislation to make the Bush tax cuts permanent,” said Tim Hammonds, president of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and chairman of the coalition American’s Against Unfair Family Taxation (AAUFT).

“Family businesses cannot plan for the future without knowing that the death tax will be permanently repealed,” Hammonds said. “They’ll have to continue paying billions of dollars each year in estate tax planning and insurance — and face the grim prospect that this insidious tax with rates as high as 60 percent will be reinstated in 2011.

“Family businesses owners cannot even plan for their own retirement with the death tax still looming and the potential elimination of pension reforms, such as increases in the amount they can set aside in individual retirement accounts.”

“The debate over tax-cut permanency,” he said, “has become a partisan, election-year farce. Opponents are not representing the American people, who overwhelmingly support the tax cuts. If fact, AAUFT polls show that nearly 90 percent of Americans believe the death tax is unfair and more than two thirds support full repeal.

“We encourage the House to take this prudent action later this week and hope the Senate will follow its lead and send the measure to President Bush’s desk.”

“The Bush tax-cut plan,” Hammonds said, “was just what family businesses needed to survive and grow in a highly competitive marketplace. Included in the original tax cut was a reduction in the individual tax rates, and the majority of FMI members pay business taxes on the individual rate schedule. Daschle’s refusal to make the tax cuts permanent would also reinstate the high income tax rate schedule in 2011.

“Our economic future depends heavily on the jobs they create, the innovations they make and their support for communities across America. Only by making the tax cuts — and death tax repeal — permanent can we ensure that family business continue to plan an invaluable role in our nation’s economy.”