Published online: Dec 20, 2010
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WASHINGTON, D.C.-United Fresh Produce Association applauds the House of Representatives' passage last week of a sweeping bipartisan tax measure that includes estate tax reforms that have been a priority of United Fresh for many years. The tax bill, which now goes to the president for his signature, will allow couples to pass up to $10 million from an estate to their heirs tax-free, with assets above $10 million to be taxed at 35 percent.
"Our industry is built on the strength of multi-generational family businesses. The estate tax provisions in this bill will help many of our members who want to pass along family businesses and farms to their children, without having to sell their assets just to pay a death tax," said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh. "The unique nature of produce companies, often with the majority of assets tied up in farmlands and facilities, that have been family-owned for more than a hundred years, makes this landmark estate tax reform especially critical for these family businesses to survive."

"While we welcome this important step in shaping a fair estate tax law, this much-needed reform is for only two years. We are resolute in our goal of permanent estate tax reform in order to provide certainty for our family-owned businesses to make sound business decisions," Stenzel said.

The tax bill also contains the full range of tax cuts and incentives negotiated by President Obama and Congressional Republicans, including extension of the Bush tax cuts, a reduction in the social security tax, extension of unemployment benefits and business investment tax credits. "For those who questioned whether the November election meant permanent gridlock, this is a positive sign of compromise when our elected leaders listen to the public," Stenzel added.