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ICBA Praises Rep. Hulshof for Permanent Estate Tax Relief Effort

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 17, 2005) - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) praised Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) for advancing much-needed permanent estate tax relief legislation today by introducing the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2005 (H.R. 8).

"The introduction of this act gives community banks and their small business customers optimism that the uncertainty now surrounding the estate tax will be addressed," stated Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of ICBA. "Family ownership has always been an integral part of community banking. The tradition of community service is ingrained over generations. Unfortunately, the estate tax threatens the continued viability of family-owned community banks."

"Under current law, the estate tax is repealed in 2010 but comes back to life in 2011. This makes any sound estate tax planning impossible and puts businesses at risk," stated Paul Merski, ICBA chief economist and director of federal tax policy. "ICBA set estate tax relief as one of its top tax policy agenda items for the 109th Congress and commends Rep. Hulshof for his efforts."

Merski added, "Punitive estate taxes affect too many families, farmers and small businesses at their time of greatest loss. The steep top estate tax rate forces many families to liquidate and sell their small businesses or farms just to pay the tax collector-often wiping out a lifetime of hard work. The Hulshof bill will help put to death the onerous estate tax."