Dear Senator McConnell:

The undersigned organizations support a Senate vote on H.R. 1105, the House passed Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015.

The House of Representatives passed Congressman Brady’s (R-TX) Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 on a bipartisan basis last April which marked the first time in ten years that either body of Congress was put on the record on this important issue. This year, we urge the Senate to take the next step in the legislative process by bringing the House passed legislation to the floor for a vote. Senator Thune’s (R-SD) mirror legislation to the House passed bill, S.860, has already amassed support from the majority of the Republican caucus. We support full and permanent repeal of the federal estate tax for the following reasons:

Repealing the death tax would spur job creation and grow the economy. Many studies have quantified the job losses caused by the estate tax. A recent Tax Foundation study found that the US could create over 150,000 jobs by repealing the estate tax. A 2012 study by the House Joint Economic Committee found that the estate tax has destroyed over $1.1 trillion of capital in the US economy — loss of small business capital means fewer jobs and lower wages. Lawrence Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton; Alicia Munell, member of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors; Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate for economics; and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former CBO Director have all published work on the estate tax’s stifling effect on job growth and the economy as a whole.

The death tax contributes a very small portion of federal revenues. The estate tax currently accounts for less than one percent of federal revenue. There is a good argument that not collecting the estate tax would create more economic growth and lead to an increase in federal revenue from other taxes. A 2016 Tax Foundation analysis found repeal of the estate tax would increase federal revenues by $3.3 billion per year using a more realistic macroeconomic analysis. In addition, the estate tax forces family businesses to waste money on expensive insurance policies and estate planning. These burdensome compliance costs make it even harder for business owners to expand their businesses and create more jobs.

The death tax falls particularly hard on minorities. The estate tax threatens to confiscate generational capital from African-American and minority communities. Estate tax liabilities bankrupted the Chicago Defender – the oldest black-owned daily newspaper in the United States – and will reduce net African-American wealth by 13 percent, according to a study conducted by Boston College professors John Haven and Paul Schervish. According to a 2004 Impacto Group poll, 50 percent of Hispanic business owners know someone who sold their business to pay the estate tax and a quarter expect to sell their business because of the estate tax.

A super-majority of likely voters support eliminating the death tax. Poll after poll has indicated that a super-majority of likely voters support repealing the estate tax. Typically, two-thirds of likely voters support full and permanent repeal of the estate tax. People instinctively feel that the estate tax is not fair.

The death tax is unfair. It makes no sense to require grieving families to pay a confiscatory tax on their loved one’s lifetime savings. Often this tax is paid by selling family assets like farms and businesses. Other times, employees of the family business must be laid off and payrolls slashed. No one should be punished for fulfilling the American dream.

The negative effects of the estate tax make permanent repeal the only solution for family businesses and farms. Repealing the estate tax will help America’s family businesses create jobs, expand operations, and grow the economy. We thank you for your continued leadership on this important issue.


AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology

Food Marketing Institute

Agricultural Retailers Association

American Dental Association

American Wholesale Marketers Association

Associated Equipment Distributors

International Franchise Association

American Supply Association

National Cotton Council of America

Heating, Air-conditioning, & Refrigeration Distributors International

National Association of Electrical Distributors

National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

American Trucking Association

Associated General Contractors of America

North American Meat Institute

Hardwood Federation

National Confectioners Association

Association of Mature American Citizens

American Rental Association

Americans for Tax Reform

Forest Landowners

Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

National Association of Home Builders

Industrial Minerals Association – North America

International Sleep Products Association

National Taxpayers Union

National Automatic Merchandising Association

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association

National Insulation Association

AmericanHort (American Horticulture Industry Association)

Mason Contractors Association of America

American International Automobile Dealers Association

Heritage Action for America

Tire Industry Association American

Foundry Society

National Industrial Sand Association

American Architectural Manufacturers Association

NACS – The Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing

Window & Door Manufacturers Association

Industrial Supply Association

Aeronautical Repair Station Association

American Business Defense Council

National Community Pharmacists Association

International Foodservice Distributors Association

ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association

United Fresh Produce Association

National Electrical Contractors Association

North American Die Casting Association

North American Equipment Dealers Association

Americans for Prosperity

Club for Growth

National Propane Gas Association

National Funeral Directors Association

International Association of Plastics Distribution

United States Cattlemen’s Association

International Sign Association

Auto Care Association

National Black Chamber of Commerce

National Small Business Association

International Housewares Association

Petroleum Marketers Association of America

American Conservative Union

Professional Beauty Association

Materials Handling Equipment Distributors Association

Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades

Printing Industries of America

Truck Renting and Leasing Association

National Milk Producers Federation

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Let Freedom Ring

American Beverage Licensees

Woodworking Machine Industry Association

NPES – The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies Irrigation Association

Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of America

National Grange

Associated Wire Rope Fabricators

American Loggers Council

NAHAD – The Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association

WMDA Service Station & Automotive Repair Association

The Dude Ranchers’ Association

R-Street Institute

Forest Landowners Tax Council

Hispanic Leadership Fund

International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses

American Bus Association

American Horse Council

Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Global Cold Chain Alliance

American Commitment

Log Cabin Republicans

Free Congress Action

American Moving & Storage Association

National Association for the Self-Employed Independent Electrical Contractors

National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds

NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry

U.S. Business and Industry Council

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

National Christmas Tree Association

National Tax Limitation Committee

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Taxpayer Protection Alliance

American Civil Rights Union

Campaign for Liberty

Less Government

Maryland Taxpayers Association

Americans for Constitutional Action

American Values



Featured Publications