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Coalition Leader Encourages Senate Gang of 8 to Adopt "ASSET Plan" on Estate Tax Reform

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The bipartisan group of eight Senators known as the "Gang of 8" is meeting this week in Mount Vernon with hopes to create a plan to prevent the federal government from plunging over the so-called fiscal cliff, which includes the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and the severe automatic cuts to federal spending that will automatically kick in by the New Year.

Among the issues facing Congress this year is also the expiration of the two-year reduction in estate tax rates and the increase in the estate tax exemption, which have brought relief to many Americans, particularly small business owners.

Closely monitoring the group's work is Americans Standing for the Simplification of the Estate Tax (ASSET), a grassroots organization championing a revenue neutral, permanent solution to the consequences of the current estate tax collection method.

"We need to make sure the 'estate tax cliff' is not lost in the deliberations.  It is critical that policymakers consider a permanent solution to the current estate tax collection method that preserves the same revenue," said Jack Fitzgerald, founder of ASSET. "It's timely that the Gang of Eight is working on comprehensive budget reform and our ASSET proposal deserves to be on the table during their deliberations."

The original Gang of Six included Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Dick Durbin (D-Il) on the Democratic side, and Republican Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Tom Coburn (R-OK).  Newcomers are Senator Mike Bennet (D-CO) and Mike Johanns (R-NE).

"We are very pleased that Senators Johanns and Bennet have joined this impressive group, since their legislative records include support for creative solutions for estate tax reform that is critically needed by small business owners, farmers, and ranchers," Fitzgerald added.

Senator Johanns is a former Secretary of Agriculture and voted in 2011 for an amendment to create a deficit-neutral reserve fund for estate tax relief.  (111th Congress, S. Amdt. 873 to S.Con.Res 13).   Senator Bennet has been an outspoken supporter of the "Pay As You Go" system and has called for estate tax reform since arriving in Congress.  The ASSET proposal is consistent with their policy positions in the public record.

The ASSET proposal is creative and progressive and will reduce the tax and compliance burden on many taxpayers while generating revenue for the Treasury in a more rational way. 

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SOURCE Dragonbridge Inc.