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Repeal the ‘Death Tax’

By Eric Elgin

May 18, 2023

As I have noted in past columns, your Association is well-connected with other organizations in Washington, D.C., that work to advance the cause of small and medium-sized businesses. AICC President Mike D’Angelo sits on the board of directors of the Small Business Legislative Council, for example, and he actively engages with groups such as the S-Corp Association and the Family Business Coalition (FBC). The latter group describes itself as “the voice of America’s main economic engine—family businesses—working together towards a better business climate that promotes private business expansion and job growth.” Since so many AICC members are family-owned, your Association takes notice when this group speaks.

One issue of major importance to FBC is the repeal of federal estate taxes, aka the “death tax.” In a letter to U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota) who recently reintroduced a bill to repeal the death tax, FBC, joined by AICC and other several other family business groups, wrote:

“Repealing the death tax would spur job creation and grow the economy. Many studies have quantified the potential job growth that would result from estate tax repeal. Last year, the Tax Foundation found that the U.S. could create over 150,000 jobs by repealing the estate tax.

“The death tax contributes a very small portion of federal revenues. The estate tax currently accounts for approximately one half of 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 death tax would increase federal income taxes by $145 billion over 10 years using a more realistic, dynamic economic analysis.

“In addition, the death 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. In poll after poll, a super-majority of likely voters supports eliminating the death tax. Typically, two-thirds of likely voters support full and permanent repeal of the death tax. People instinctively feel that the estate tax is not fair. A 2016 state poll by YouGov conducted in South Dakota showed 75% of voters supported repealing the estate tax. The negative effects of the estate tax make permanent repeal the only solution for family businesses and farms. Your legislation will help America’s family businesses create jobs, expand operations, and grow the economy.”

If you agree with this sentiment, contact your state’s senators in Washington, D.C., and urge their support for Thune’s bill. You can call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or go to www.senate.gov.


Eric Elgin is owner of Oklahoma Interpak and chairman of AICC’s Government Affairs subcommittee. He can be reached at 918-687-1681 or eric@okinterpak.com.

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