One of the things that sets FEUSA apart from other groups is how active we are in DC.
While some groups might send letters or make the occasional visit, we are constantly on Capitol Hill. You’d be hard-pressed not to find a few of us walking the halls on any given day.
But we wore out our shoe leather last week during the fly-in and board meeting. Our efforts mainly focused on building support for our rate reduction bill, a relatively new concept for members of congress that requires us to educate members and staff on the details. As a reminder, the legislation pegs the estate tax — currently 40% and the highest rate in the tax code — to the capital gains tax which is 20%. Our argument is if I sell my business today I would pay a 20% rate, but if I die tomorrow it’s 40%?? It’s a message that resonates with policymakers.
Our initial meetings were with members of the tax-writing committees and included the staff from the offices of Representative Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Ron Estes (R-KS), George Holding (R-NC), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN). We also had the opportunity to pitch three members of congress directly, in meetings with Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and David Schweikert (R-AZ), and at our dinner with special guest Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI). Last but not least, we heard from Mason Champion at our board meeting, who is the tax aide to Representative Jodey Arrington (R-TX), who graciously introduced the rate reduction bill in the House.
For those supporters and board members that were in attendance, they got to see Democracy in action as we educated members and staff on the issues that concern family businesses. We did it with the help of Pat Soldano and Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA), whose sole mission is to promote family businesses and their job growth in America. The data FEUSA collects in their survey of family businesses has been essential for our lobby efforts as it allows us to move past anecdotal stories and to give hard facts on issues and concerns. To that end, if you haven’t yet filled out the FEUSA family business survey for 2020, we need your help, you can click here to fill it out.
For those that attended, thank you! Your participation in our Hill visits helps put a personal story on our policy pitch, taking it from hypothetical to real. For those that missed out, consider making the trip the next time around. You’ll be surprised by the powerful impact your stories can have on policymakers and our efforts to kill the death tax!
Family Enterprise USA is the organization that represents all family businesses on a national level in DC; it is not unique to any industry. Family Enterprise USA is different from other organizations because it represents and advocates for the families of family businesses and the issues, they face running their businesses every day. Our sole mission and purpose is to promote family businesses and their job growth in America. We also support the work of Family Business Centers across the country. We hope your family will choose to be a member of Family Enterprise USA. Family Enterprise USA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Family foundations can donate.