TELECONFERENCE ADVISORY: Small Business Owners Speak Out for Strong Estate Tax

ETAX Media Advisory banner - Nov. 2010

Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs Speak Out
For A Strong Estate Tax;
Call the Tax Fair, Manageable and Rare

United for a Fair Economy Hosts a November 16 Press Conference Call
Featuring Three Business Owners
Washington, DC – To challenge the myth that the estate tax is bad for business, three small business owners and entrepreneurs are speaking out in support of a strong, permanent federal tax on large estates.  They are urging Congress to restore a strong estate tax.  The issue will be debated when Congress returns on November 15. Contrary to claims that all business owners oppose the estate tax, these Americans who have founded and/or run small businesses want to see the tax strengthened and are willing to pay it. 
The speakers on the November 16 teleconference, each of whom has signed United for a Fair Economy’s Call to Preserve the Estate Tax, will include:
  • Two small business owners who represent the vast majority of farms and businesses that would owe no estate tax should it return to 2009 levels (a farm service provider from Arkansas and a microbrewer from Washington state), and;
  • A Silicon Valley entrepreneur and an Oregon real estate developer who represent the mere 1.8% of all estates that would expect to pay estate tax at 2009 levels that are small businesses or farms.
Each of the speakers sees the tax as an investment in the publicly-funded infrastructure that made their success possible and continues to benefit their operations.
Unwilling to serve as poster children for tax cutting policies they oppose, these American business owners will discuss how existing estate tax exemptions and provisions already address the concerns of small businesses and farms and protect them from unmanageable tax liabilities. 
The estate tax was reduced between 2002 and 2009 and fully suspended during 2010 as a result of the Bush tax cuts of 2001.  All of these cuts will sunset at the end of 2010 due to deficit-reduction rules. The future of the estate tax remains undecided. If Congress does not act, the estate tax is due to return in 2011 with a $1 million exemption per spouse and a 55% rate on amounts above that.
These four business owners will join experts from United for a Fair Economy (UFE), which has been fighting to preserve the estate tax since 2000, in a teleconference on Tuesday, November 16 to discuss their reasons for supporting a permanent and robust estate tax.  Participants will make opening remarks and take press questions.
WHAT: A press teleconference featuring small business leaders who support a strong estate tax and are signatories to United for a Fair Economy's Call to Preserve the Estate Tax.
  • Jean Gordon, Little Rock, AR
    Co-owner of Frostyaire of Arkansas, agricultural freezing and cold storage company.
  • Jerry Fiddler, San Francisco, CA
    Principal of Zygote Ventures, venture capital firm, and Founder of Wind River Systems, tech company.
  • Dave Eiffert, Snoqualmie, WA
    Co-founder and Co-owner of Snoqualmie Falls Brewery, craft brewery and tap room.
  • John Russell, Portland, OR
    Owner of Russell Development Company, real estate development.
  • Lee Farris, Senior Organizer on Estate Tax Policy at United for a Fair Economy.
  • Mike Lapham, Director of Responsible Wealth, a project of UFE.
WHEN: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 11:00 A.M. Eastern time.
  • If you are a member of the press, and would like to participate in this teleconference, please see contacts above for access information.
  • If you are a blogger with a focus on tax and economic policy, and would like to participate in this teleconference, please contact Maz Ali at 617-423-2148 x101 or [email protected].

United for a Fair Economy is a national, independent, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Boston, MA which advocates for progressive economic and tax policies.

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