I recently made a television appearance on “Let’s Talk Live”where I shared how a vital part of ASSET is to save the jobs
created by private farms and businesses that are in jeopardy each year because of the Estate Tax. 22,000 Farms, 14,000 Real Estate Partnerships, and 29,000 Privately-held Corporations will be susceptible to the Estate Tax in 2011. Thousands of jobs at those organizations are in jeopardy!
ASSET started out by looking at the IRS tax tables and studying how the same amount of tax could be collected without doing so much harm, maintaining the same revenue stream, but preserving businesses and farms and the jobs they provide. It is not hard to do because the Estate Tax only brings in about 1% of all IRS revenue, and as the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of the Congress pointed out in 2006, taxpayers are spending more than the tax brings in on compliance costs, i.e. professional fees, trusts and other estate planning.
So, it is less expensive for taxpayers making over a million per year, to pay the estate tax as either a 1% surcharge on their AGI or a reduction in tax deductions that equals the same amount. These are called “payfors” on Capitol Hill. Either way, the taxpayer saves compliance costs while the government gets the same revenue.
However, to remain revenue neutral the IRS would keep track of the estate assets of the taxpayer who paid the AGI tax and aggregate the Capital Gains Tax Revenue from the sales of these assets and reduce the future surcharge until it is completely replaced by the Capital Gains Revenue which will happen in time.
The 2006 JEC estimated less than 10 years for this to happen because there is no tax due at death and no time limit for selling assets, and if the assets are never sold no tax would be paid. But farms and businesses would continue to operate producing tax revenue and providing jobs with many times more to the government than a onetime estate tax that closes the farm or business, ending the ongoing revenue stream and jobs.
The compliance cost savings for taxpayers and the security of jobs on farms and at privately held businesses begin immediately. In addition, since there is no reason to shelter assets from the estate tax there would be more investment and business transactions, giving a much needed boost to the U.S. economy.
Also keep in mind the nearly $22 Trillion earned by the top 1% of taxpayers between 1985 and 2008. Only $400 Billion was collected in estate taxes, and about 5 Trillion paid in federal taxes during those 23 years. There could be trillions locked up in trusts created to avoid the Estate Tax. Our proposal calls for the option to allow those trusts to be unlocked. We believe this would be an enormous stimulus to the economy.
Every staff member on Capitol Hill we have met is intrigued with the concept regardless of party affiliation. ASSET changes the debate from discussions on rates/exemptions, to how to be revenue neutral and how businesses, farms and jobs are saved.
We need you to participate at events. We will be calling on our ASSET members to join us a town hall meetings in different locations to help bring even more awareness to our elected officials that a permanent solution to the estate tax is needed, not the increase proposed by some members to 55%, but real and permanent relief.
We need more help from members. We need farmers, private businesses and their employees to join us. While Fortune 500 companies never face an estate tax, it looms large over private businesses and their employees. Spread the word about ASSET and ask people to join in having their voice heard and solving a problem inWashington once and for all that could save the business they own or work for.
Lastly, we need you to write. We need you to write to both your Congressman/Senator and to your associations of which you and your farm/business are members.
Please forward this email to at least one other person. Thank you for your efforts.
Auto Dealer & Founder of ASSET
 Study by Professor Antony Davies, Duquesne University “The Cost of Compromise”
 Less than 1% after the 2010 reduction to 35% with $5M exemption. The historical average since 1960 is 1%. 1.2% with the gift tax.
 For example, a portion of state taxes would not be deductible; another is a portion of tax exempt bonds would be taxable.