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The Food Marketing Institute supports a bill introduced by U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) to repeal the estate tax, which the industry group calls an unfair form of double taxation that threatens family-owned grocers.
“Senator Thune is a strong advocate for family-owned supermarkets in the United States,” said Jennifer Hatcher, FMI senior VP of government and public affairs. “The estate tax forces business owners to spend their fortunes on estate planning instead of expanding their businesses and creating new jobs.”
Designed to impact the very wealthy, the estate tax also has frequently been applied to small and medium-sized businesses. Referred to by its critics as the “death tax,” its rate has been as high as 55 percent. For the 2011 tax year, the first $5 million of an estate is exempt; amounts over that are taxed at 35 percent.
Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its nearly 1,250 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI’s U.S. members operate more than 25,000 retail food stores and almost 22,000 pharmacies with a combined annual sales volume of nearly $650 billion.