By Pat Soldano, published in the Seattle Times.
It is unlikely you will see the worry on their faces. Yet, they know something is coming for them.
It came for people like Casey Roscoe, a former marketing executive for family-owned Seneca, a lumber company in Oregon, and Mark Peters, son of the founder of Butterball Farms in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It specializes in products made from butter.
You would never know they faced the fear of existential threat, but it’s inside them, and yet they are the lucky ones. Hard work, a lifetime of risking their savings and some smart decisions allowed them to make it in America. So, why worry?
You could ask George Bartell the same question, the former chairman of Seattle’s own Bartell Drugs, the iconic 67-store chain founded in the Central District in 1890 by George’s grandfather.
The common thread between these three people is they own, or owned, a family business. Bartell’s was sold to Rite-Aid two years ago.
It could be a drugstore company, a coffee shop chain, a machine parts firm or even a newspaper. And, equally, they all know one day this family livelihood, often multigenerational, will likely have to be sold off and vanish forever. Why? It’s a complicated and old story, but it often comes down to death and taxes. And, selling is often the only logical answer.
Research shows that family enterprises make up $7.7 trillion of our annual GDP and represent 59% of the country’s private workforce. Family businesses in America consist of 23.7% in manufacturing, 10.4% in construction/facilities and 9.75% in real estate.
Since 1995, Policy and Taxation Group has been the leading advocacy group working to reduce and eliminate estate tax, gift tax, and generation skipping transfer tax while blocking increased income tax and capital gains taxes, the creation of a wealth tax, and other hostile tax policies that punish hardworking taxpayers and success.
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