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ICBA Releases Comprehensive Federal Tax Options Study

Individuals, Small Businesses and Economy Would Benefit from Proposals

Executive Summary / Full Study / Top 10 Tax Fixes

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 24, 2003)-The Independent Community Bankers of America, the nation's largest community bank trade association, today released a comprehensive study outlining a menu of federal tax relief and simplification measures to improve the country's economy.

The 50-page study, "Community Bank Tax Relief and Simplification Options," compiled with the accounting firm of Grant Thornton LLP, identifies specific legislative changes that the ICBA believes would boost economic growth by improving the viability of small businesses, and by giving all Americans more options to save and invest. It examines and recommends dozens of vital tax legislative changes, including expanding Subchapter S Corporation tax elections for more small businesses. Other recommendations include creating a new Universal FREEDOM Savings Account, offering tax relief on individual interest and dividend income, improving small business expensing, providing tax relief for long-term deposits, establishing estate tax reforms, offering tax-relief to boost small business lending and giving new ways for cash-strapped local governments to access cost-efficient funding.

Full details of the ICBA tax study's legislative recommendations, including the release of ICBA's "Top Ten Tax Fixes," are available at ICBA's web site at www.icba.org/pressroom.

These well-researched recommendations by the ICBA would create a more simple and unbiased tax code and enhance the viability of community-based banks and the vital role they play in the U.S. economy as a critical source of lending for consumers and small businesses, said ICBA Chairman Pierce Stone, the chairman and CEO of Virginia Community Bank in Louisa, Va. "The bottom line on our report is that we have stepped up to the plate to research and identify a menu of sound tax policies that would give more savings choices for all Americans and provide more competitive sources of funding for the nation's economy," Stone said.

Douglas L. McClure, chairman of ICBA's Tax Committee, and the chairman of Rocky Mountain Bank & Trust in Colorado Springs, Colo., said, "Simply stated, this ICBA study provides a broad menu of tax policy options where consumers and small businesses of all kinds can be spared onerous tax burden compliance costs with a few simple tax code changes. Adopting these recommendations will help preserve the financial underpinning of millions of consumers, family owned businesses, family farms, local merchants and small manufacturers throughout America."