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Minority Business Leaders Call for Death Tax Repeal

March 25, 2015

?Lastweek, the Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee heard from family businesses and farmers struggling to pay or simply plan for the death tax. This hearing highlighted real people who work hard and save for their whole lives so they can pass on their family farms or businesses to loved ones. But these very people face overwhelming burdens thanks to death tax.

This week, we heard from two more voices speaking out against the death tax. Their message: The death tax hurts minority-owned businesses. Harry C. Alford, the president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, wrote in The Hill:

“The death tax creates an unfair situation for minority businesses which have primarily started to accumulate wealth within the last 60 years. Many minority-owned family businesses are first-generation businesses, where children work alongside their parents. These business owners do not want to sell out at fire-sale prices to pay the estate tax and eliminate the livelihoods for the next generation in addition to the jobs for those whom they employ.”

Second, Robert L. Johnson, Founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), wrote a letter to Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA):

“This level of taxation continues to pose a serious threat to the likelihood that present-day African American-owned businesses can be preserved as part of a family’s long-term legacy. Full repeal of the estate tax would allow African Americans to pass the full fruits of their business success to the next generation and thereby laying the foundation for a permanent minority ownership class that can contribute to the economic growth and development of the United States economy.”

This is why the committee will markup H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, later today. This bill will finally end the death tax and ensure fairness for all family businesses.