Washington, DC— Today Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) joined over 35 industry groups and advocacy organizations supporting House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Congressman Kevin Brady’s (R-TX) recent calls for a vote this year on Congressman Brady’s “Death Tax Repeal Act,” HR 2429.  The Family Business Coalition, of which HARDI is a member, sent the letter to Reps. Brady and Camp along with House Leadership.

The letter states in part, “We believe that full repeal of the death tax is the only permanent solution for America’s family businesses and farms and applaud your efforts to bring this important issue to the floor for the first time in over nine years. Our member  family business owners across the country deserve to see where their elected representatives stand on death tax repeal.”

HARDI Government Affairs Co-Chair Karen Madonia of Illco, Inc. (Aurora, IL), who was one of two business owners who participated at a press conference introducing the bill last year, stated regarding the bill, “What the authors and supporters of this bill clearly understand, and what I hope that members of both houses can embrace, is that the estate tax presents a real problem for family-owned companies.”

HARDI has been working with coalition partners for over two years to bring a House vote to fruition and members have been active in helping the bill gain support in the form of co-sponsors. If efforts pay off it would be a significant achievement – the last time the House voted on estate tax repeal was in 2005 where it passed 272-162.

The estate tax is especially harmful to family businesses because they tend to be asset rich but cash poor, meaning they lack the cash on hand to pay a 40 percent estate tax. Oftentimes, they must fire workers, sell equipment or close the business entirely to pay Uncle Sam. Nearly 70 percent of family businesses do not survive to the second generation and a full 90  percent close before the third generation, due in  part to the estate tax.  Repealing the estate tax will  help HARDI member businesses grow and pass to  future generations.

The estate tax made recent news when Congressman Brady’s Death Tax Repeal Act surpassed 218 bipartisan co-sponsors needed to reach a majority of the House of Representatives. Senator John Thune carries the mirror bill in the U.S. Senate with 37 co-sponsors. The estate tax was also recently featured in articles detailing Bill and Hillary Clinton’s planning to legally avoid the estate tax, while voting consistently to impose it on the rest of the country.

For more information, visit www.hardinet.org.