Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Printing Industries of America member and Digital Solutions Manager of ColorCraft of Virginia, Meredith L. Mayes, testified today before the House Committee on Small Business regarding the issue of estate tax reform and its impact on family-owned small printing companies. Six out of ten printing companies are family owned. Ms. Mayes was invited to provide testimony by Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY).
At the hearing, Mayes discussed the negative impact that estate tax planning has upon small printers and job creation and also noted the non-economic costs to communities that occur when small companies go out of business. Mayes noted that ColorCraft has spent more than $700,000 in estate tax planning, and those resources could have been better spent on more productive items, such as sales training, technical education, and debt reduction.
Regarding jobs, Mayes stated, "Job creation should definitely be part of an estate tax discussion. The printing industry has lost 73,000 jobs since mid-2008. Family-owned small businesses are critical to the revival of our economy, and an estate tax that soaks up financial resources and negatively impacts job creation is very troubling."
Mayes further commented on policy solutions that she asked the Committee and Congress to keep in mind as estate tax reform is considered. She stated that the most effective solution would be outright, permanent repeal of the estate tax, but that the next best case scenario would be permanent reform. She advocated policy proposals that offered a combination of raising exemption levels while at the same time decreasing the tax rate, noting that indexing for inflation and permanency were key factors.
Mayes additionally urged the Committee to consider the unique impact of the estate tax on capital intensive industries.
"I urge Congress to be mindful that capital intensive industries, like printing, have non-cash assets that add up very quickly in spite of depreciation schedules. For example, our most recent equipment purchase was a printing press at $3.8 million. Additionally, many family-owned printers strive to own, rather than lease, their plants, which also adds to the estate tax calculation. What may sound like a lot of money on paper doesn't always translate to cash on hand."
Printing Industries of America will continue to advocate on behalf of its members as the estate tax reform debate unfolds.