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Jack Fitzgerald Calls on Ways & Means to Include Reforming Estate Tax

ASSET Coalition Works To Help Preserve Small Businesses and Jobs

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Replacement of the existing estate tax is one of the most pro-growth policies Congress could embrace. The ASSET proposal should be part of any tax reform that aspires to grow the economy faster.

Jack Fitzgerald, founder of ASSET, at a briefing on Capitol Hill on the estate tax on the eve of the government shutdown in October 2013.

Jack Fitzgerald, founder and the chairman of ASSET, knows firsthand how the estate tax will impact him, "As an owner of small businesses, I know that current estate tax law ties companies in knots and the collection mechanism unduly burdens families, small business owners, farmers, and ranchers.  Fear of the estate tax leads many small business owners to liquidate at fire sales before or immediately after the owner's death and encourages them to over purchase life insurance in order to satisfy the future tax burdens."

The ASSET legislative proposal is an entirely voluntary, revenue neutral, less economically destructive tax system that replaces the current estate tax with a tax on gains upon the sale of estate assets.  Death would not trigger a taxable event under the ASSET proposal – the tax on gains would occur only when and if assets are sold.  Taxpayers who opt in under the ASSET plan would pay a small 1 percent surcharge on annual income while they are alive and no estate tax would be owed upon their death.  Congress should include this solution in the tax reform legislation.

"The drafters of the proposed Tax Reform Act missed the opportunity to resolve the significant inefficiencies and economic dislocation associated with the estate tax.  While the tax reform proposal may have much to offer small businesses, I am amazed that the House Ways and Means Committee's executive summary states that it 'maintains current law on the estate tax, ensuring that family businesses can continue to be passed on to future generations,' " states Fitzgerald. This statement turns logic on its head. 

Farms, ranches, and businesses could continue operating and employees would not lose their jobs when the owner dies.  Economic growth would be generated because wealthy taxpayers will no longer hide assets in trusts to avoid estate and gift taxes and they could use these assets far more productively throughout their lifetimes.

While we commend Chairman Camp and his colleagues for starting the Congressional process toward a fairer, more efficient tax code, we hope they will recognize their oversight and will consider adding the ASSET solution to the legislation when it is the subject of committee action.

For more information visit www.SimplifyEstateTax.org.

About ASSET

ASSET is a coalition of more than 11,000 individuals, private businesses, family farms and ranches, and their employees. ASSET was founded in order to change the collection method for the Estate Tax.  Jack Fitzgerald is the chairman of Fitzgerald Auto Malls and owns a collection of small businesses. 

Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140228/PH74686

SOURCE Americans Standing for the Simplification of the Estate Tax (ASSET)

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