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For immediate release
Contact: Alisa Harrison, 202-628-8000

WASHINGTON, DC, March 31, 2009—The International Franchise Association today urged Congress to provide additional permanent relief from the estate tax in the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Resolution.

As part of the Family Business Estate Tax Coalition (FBETC), IFA along with other business organizations wrote in support of an amendment offered by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and John Kyl (R-Ariz.) that would adjust the estate tax to a $5 million exemption and a top rate of 35 percent.  Currently the estate, or “death,” tax provides a $3.5 million exemption and a 45 percent top rate.  Unless Congress acts, the death tax will return to its pre-2001 level of $1 million exemption and 55 percent top rate in 2011. 

“Permanent repeal of the estate tax is a top priority for franchise businesses,” said IFA Vice President of Government Relations David French.  “Comprehensive tax reform is critical to the growth of small businesses and to the impact they make to our economy, including job creation.  Repeal of the estate tax will help franchise businesses grow and prosper.”

In a joint letter, IFA and over 30 other business groups expressed concerns that freezing the 2009 estate tax levels will not provide adequate relief.  “It is essential that permanent estate tax legislation shield as many family businesses as possible from estate taxes and the burden of estate tax planning through a high exemption level and that the impact on larger family businesses be minimized by providing the lowest possible rate,” the groups said.  “It is also important to ensure that any relief related to the exemption is tied to inflation, contains a spousal transfer and that the stepped-up basis is included.”

“We are grateful for the efforts of those who support the amendment to help America’s family businesses and urge Congress to make the repeal permanent once and for all,” said French.


About The International Franchise Association 
The International Franchise Association, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide.  Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,250 franchise systems, 10,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity.  For more information, visit the IFA Web site at