Chairman Dave Camp
H-208 U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

Congressman Kevin Brady
301 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

CC: Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Congressman Steve Scalise

Chairman Camp and Congressman Brady:

The undersigned organizations are encouraged by your recent statements in Forbes regarding the need for the House of Representative to vote on the Death Tax Repeal Act, H.R. 2429 this year. We believe that full repeal of the death tax is the only permanent solution for America’s family businesses and farms and applaud your efforts to bring this important issue to the floor for the first time in over nine years. Our member family business owners across the country deserve to see where their elected representatives stand on death tax repeal. As it stands now, the majority of House members (236) have never had the opportunity to vote on full repeal of the death tax.

Congressman Brady’s Death Tax Repeal Act recently amassed over 220 bipartisan cosponsors, giving the bill enough support to pass the House with cosponsors alone. Your call for the first vote since 2005 on death tax repeal legislation is encouraging to our members who want to see consistent action in Congress on this issue.

We appreciate your work to lead the country towards a common sense tax code that does not impose a destructive double or triple tax at death and look forward to working with you to achieve a floor vote before the November elections. We support full and permanent repeal of the federal estate tax for the following reasons:

Repealing the death tax would spur job creation. According to a study by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Ph.D, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, repealing the death tax would add nearly one million additional small business jobs. Job creation at that level would shave almost a percentage point off our high unemployment rate. A 2012 Joint Economic Committee found that the death tax has prevented $1.3 trillion in capital formation, which could have been used to increase employment and expand GDP.

The death tax contributes a very small portion of federal revenues. The death tax currently accounts for only half of one percent of federal revenue. There is a good argument that not collecting the death tax would lead to higher economic growth and thereby increase federal revenue from other taxes. Former undersecretary of the Treasury, Steve Entin, found that repealing the death tax would increase tax revenues by nearly $89 billion over 10 years using a more realistic “dynamic” economic analysis. The death tax imposes burdensome compliance costs and forces family businesses to divert productive capital into large life insurance policies and expensive estate planning.

The death tax falls particularly hard on minorities. African-Americans have increasingly in the last generation started accumulating generational capital, but the death tax threatens to confiscate it. Death tax liabilities bankrupted the Chicago Daily 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 death tax and a quarter expect to sell their business because of the death 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 death tax. Typically, two thirds of likely voters support full and permanent repeal of the death tax. People instinctively feel that the death 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 nest egg. 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 death tax make permanent repeal the only solution for family businesses and farms. Passing H.R. 2429, Congressman Brady’s Death Tax Repeal Act, 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.


Jim Martin
60 Plus Association

Douglas K. Woods
AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology

Jim Rowland
Executive Vice President
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America

Ed Orlet
Vice President of Government Affairs
National Association of Electrical Distributors

Ben Gann
Director of Legislative Affairs & Grassroots Activities
National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association

Jonathan Melchi
Director of Government Affairs
Heating, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI)

Michael Graham
Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affairs
American Dental Association

Rob Underwood
Manager of Congressional Relations
The Petroleum Marketers Association of America

Liam Donovan
Director of Legislative Affairs
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

Christian A. Klein
Vice President of Government Affairs
Associated Equipment Distributors

Dan Hilton
Director of Government Relations
American Supply Association

Paul Fiore
Director, Government Affairs
Autocare Association

Dana Lee Cole
Executive Director
Hardwood Federation

Lee Fuller
Vice President of Government Relations
Independent Petroleum Association of America

Daniel Fisher
Vice President Legislative Affairs
Aeronautical Repair Station Association

Roy Littlefield
Executive Vice President
The Tire Industry Association

Kirk McCauley
Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades (SSDA-AT)

Marta Gates
Director of Operations
WMDA Service Station & Automotive Repair Association

J. Barry Epperson
General Counsel
Associated Wire Rope Fabricators

Frank Stewart
Executive Director
Forest Landowners Tax Council

Danny Dructor
Executive Director
American Loggers Council

Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

Harry Alford
President, CEO
National Black Chamber of Commerce

Chris Chocola
Club for Growth

Brent Wm. Gardner
Director of Federal Affairs
Americans for Prosperity

Michael Needham
Chief Executive Officer
Heritage Action for America

Andrew Moylan
Senior Fellow
R Street Institute

Brandon Arnold
Vice President of Government Affairs
National Taxpayers Union

Colin Hanna
Let Freedom Ring

John Berlau
Senior Fellow for Finance and Access to Capital
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Matt Schlapp
American Conservative Union

Phil Kerpen
American Commitment

Lew Uhler
National Tax Limitation Committee

Mario H. Lopez
Hispanic Leadership Fund

Andrew Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity

John Tate
Campaign for Liberty

Palmer Schoening
Executive Director
Family Business Coalition