The United States will become the country with the highest death tax in the world if the president's recent budget proposal is enacted,
hurting American competitiveness and disproportionately affecting minority- and female-owned businesses across the country, according to The Hill.
Contributor Harry Alford, cofounder, president, and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, cites a study by two Boston College professors showing that the death tax will cut African-American wealth by 10 percent to 13 percent by 2055.
"The death tax creates an unfair situation for minority businesses which have primarily started to accumulate wealth within the last 60 years. Many minority-owned family businesses are first-generation businesses, where children work alongside their parents," Alford wrote.
"These business owners do not want to sell out at fire-sale prices to pay the estate tax and eliminate the livelihoods for the next generation in addition to the jobs for those whom they employ."
Alford said that one study showed that 90 percent of black business owners believed that the death tax hindered their prospects for long-term growth.
"It makes no sense to create yet another hurdle to success for minority-owned businesses through the tax code."
Women face similar disadvantages, Alford said. He noted the testimony at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing last week of a female business owner who said she would be forced to sell parts of her business, cut wages, and fire workers as a result of death duties she will need to pay upon the death of her father.
"Why is it fair to penalize anyone who worked hard, created jobs, took risks, achieved success, and paid substantial taxes during their lifetime with a 40 percent tax at death?" Alford said.
The House is currently working on death tax repeal legislation,
which will be introduced this week that would fully and permanently repeal the death tax. "The estate tax money that the government brings in amounts to 1 percent of the total budget. There must be a better way to collect 1 percent of government spending than by taxing America's minority- and women-owned businesses out of existence," Alford wrote.