Small Business Owners Join Wealthiest in Call to Preserve Estate Tax

Press Release
For Immediate Release – March 15, 2001
Contacts: Betsy Leondar-Wright, (617) 423-2148 x113

Small Business Owners, Entrepreneurs Join
Wealthiest Americans in Call to Preserve Estate Tax

"My wealth is not only a product of my own hard work. It also resulted from a strong economy and lots of public investment in me and others. My success has allowed me to provide well for my family, and upon my death, I hope taxes on my estate will help fund the kind of programs that benefited me and others from humble backgrounds – a good education, money for research and targeted investment in poor communities – to help bring opportunity to all Americans."

– Martin Rothenberg, President, Glottal Enterprises

WASHINGTON – March 15, 2001 – "While we may not be able to ensure that all children start their lives on a level playing field, that is something we should strive for and the estate tax keeps us closer to that ideal," William H. Gates, Sr., said today in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the estate tax repeal.

Representing hundreds of wealthy Americans who would be subject to the estate tax yet oppose its repeal, Philadelphia restaurant owner Judy Wicks and technology entrepreneur Martin Rothenberg joined Gates, Sr., at a news briefing after the hearing to call for a preservation of the estate tax.

"I’m a small business owner with over 100 employees. I hope to pass my business on to my daughter, but I support the estate tax as a fair tax that moves us closer to the American dream of an equal opportunity for all," said Wicks, owner of The White Dog Café.

Since the Call to Preserve the Estate Tax was announced in a front-page New York Times story on February 14th, over 600 more small business people, philanthropists and entrepreneurs have added their names and voices to the call to "fix, not repeal, the estate tax." The total number of signers is now over 700, some of whom are available for interviews.

Among the new signers of the Call are:

Ted Turner, Vice Chairman, AOL Time Warner
Paul Brainerd, President, The Brainerd Foundation and developer of PageMaker software R.L. Crandall, retired Chairman of AMR Corp.
Adele Simmons, former President, The MacArthur Foundation
Sol Price, founder, Price Clubs and Chairman, Price Entities
J.P. Guerin, former Chairman, Pacific Southwest Airlines
Venture Capitalist Arthur Rock, Arthur Rock & Co.

The Call to Preserve the Estate Tax is being circulated by Responsible Wealth, a national organization of business leaders and other affluent Americans seeking to reduce economic inequality in the United States. A complete list of signers of the Call can be found at Responsible Wealth’s website: