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SMB Groups Fight Over Estate-Tax Reform

By Keith Girard
August 17, 2006

The debate over estate-tax reform in Congress has sparked a controversial dispute between the nation's largest small business trade group and one of the most outspoken small business gadflies.

The American Small Business League (ASBL) took issue today with a campaign by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) that urges its members to lobby for passage of a bill to slash estate taxes.

"The NFIB and other estate tax foes allege that the tax will take half of a small business owner's wealth upon death. This is patently false," said the ASBL in a statement. "The truth is, since most small business owners are in middle-class and upper-middle-class tax brackets, they would probably end up paying higher income taxes to fill the revenue gap created by eliminating the estate tax."

This is the first time the two groups have openly clashed over a small business issue. For the first time, the ASBL also criticized the dominant trade group for failing to speak out while the Bush administration slashed the Small Business Administration budget.



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