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AFP Letter of Support: Repeal Federal Death and Gift Taxes, H.R. 483

February 25, 2013 J

Dear Representative Hudson:

On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I write in support of the Farmers Against Crippling Taxes Act (H.R. 483), which would permanently eliminate the federal death, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes.

The death tax is among the most immoral and hated taxes in our entire code. It burdens Americans all along the economic ladder. Family-owned farms and businesses are particularly impacted. When one generation wishes to pass the family businesses down to the next generation, the IRS confiscates more than a third of the assets, causing many to shut their doors.

These taxes stifle overall economic growth by discouraging saving and investing. The Joint Economic Committee estimates that without a death tax the total capital stock in the U.S. today would be 3.8 percent higher, nearly a trillion dollars in additional capital. That’s a trillion dollars that would have been available for businesses to invest in new facilities and equipment and to hire and train new employees.

Death and gift taxes have never been an important source of federal revenue. Over the past decade, these taxes contributed only 1.2 percent of total federal revenues per year on average. In fact, repealing the death tax could result in higher revenue. In a study for the American Family Business Foundation, former Treasury Department economist Stephen J. Entin found that eliminating estate taxes would lead to $89 billion in new revenue.

It is simply immoral to punish Americans who work hard throughout their lives by confiscating the fruits of their labor when they die. AFP is proud to support the Farmers Against Crippling Taxes Act (H.R. 483). I urge your colleagues to support its passage and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Sincerely,

James Valvo
Director of Policy
Americans for Prosperity

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