Washington, DC — January 8, 2003 — The economic stimulus package that President Bush announced yesterday “will benefit all sectors of the retail food industry. It will create jobs, boost consumer spending and help restore confidence in our economy,” Tim Hammonds, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI)said today.

“We also applaud President Bush for reaffirming his commitment to permanently repeal the death tax in his announcement before presenting the details of his stimulus plan.

“The numerous family businesses that pay company taxes in their personal returns will immediately see a 3.6 percentage point cut, from 38.6 percent to 35 percent,” said Hammonds. “This cut could save a typical food retailer with 10 stores and $100 million in sales approximately $220,000 in taxes a year.

“The plan will further encourage these same independent retailers to invest this tax cut in growth by allowing them to write off the first $75,000 they spend on new technologies and services needed to grow and compete.

“For larger companies and the economy as a whole, ending the double taxation of dividends is a bold and dynamic plan. It should give companies more funds to invest in jobs and growth.

“Most importantly, the new stimulus plan will encourage business investment — addressing the single factor most responsible for the slow economic recovery.

“The tax savings to consumers — particularly to middle-income families and seniors — will further boost their confidence in our economy. Accelerating the rate cuts, increasing the child-care credit and ending the marriage penalty will stimulate spending that will ripple through the economy, compounding the benefits for all.

“We urge Congress to act on this plan immediately so money will start flowing to the companies and consumers that can turn the recovery into a new era of prosperity.”