Jack Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Auto Malls, sponsors estate tax panel on Capitol Hill

Jack Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Auto Malls, sponsors estate tax panel on Capitol Hill

WANADA past chairman, Jack Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Auto Malls, was among inside-the-Beltway notables this week on Capitol Hill who formed up a congressional panel presentation on the Estate Tax. Taking part in the panel entitled, is the estate tax issue dead in comprehensive tax reform? panelists included former Utah Republican senator Bob Bennett; Chuck Marr of the Center for Budget and Tax Priorities; and Grover Norquist, the famed Republican strategist who founded the Americans for Tax Reform. Fitzgerald is founder of Americans for Simplification of the Estate Tax (ASSET) which sponsored this weeks panel briefing for members of Congress and their staffs. The panel was moderated by Scott Hodge, president of The Tax Foundation.

Part of the conversation covered the ASSET Plan such that an optional income tax surcharge of 1% of AGI may be elected by tax payers in lieu of an estate tax levy against the taxpayers estate at the time of death. (The 1% AGI surcharge election must be made at least seven years before death which would continue through the earning life of the taxpayer.)

The ASSET Plan gives small businesses like automobile dealers the ability to opt out of devastatingly high estate taxes that could force heirs to sell the business to pay the taxes and throw employees of the business out of work, said Fitzgerald.

The ASSET Plan was modified after being vetted with congressional leaders to include the optional feature to make it more palatable to lawmakers who might otherwise have been leary of a one-size-fits-all approach that would eliminate the Estate Tax.

The optional approach of the ASSET Plan was done, additionally, in recognition of the fact that the Estate Tax isnt apt to ever be repealed by Congress, even though it only represents a small portion of the overall taxes collected by the U.S. government each year from American citizens.

Getting Democrats and Republicans to agree on anything in Washington today would be an extraordinary feat given the current political climate. But Jack Fitzgerald and the ASSET coalition remain commmitted to a reasonable alternative to the downsides of the current Estate Tax law to include the real threat it poses to many small businesses.

If this weeks panel briefing to members of Congress on the ASSET Plan is any indication, it offers a workable alternative to the Estate Tax for small businesses which could voluntarily determine for themselves if opting out improves their tax circumstances.

For more information on the ASSET Plan, go on www.simplifyestatetax.org or contact Jack Fitzgerald at (301) 881-4000 or 1-877-829-8162.

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