Polling and Research

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Frank Luntz Presentation on Women Voters

By Frank Luntz
June 18,2014

To see the full presentation, click here.

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Frank Luntz Presentation on Income Inequality & Taxes

By Frank Luntz
January 28, 2014

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Growth Consequences of Estate Tax Reform: Impacts on Family and Small Businesses

By Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Cameron T. Smith
September 2010
A Study by the American Family Business Foundation

Executive Summary 

The United States economy has endured a severe recession and is currently growing too slowly. Accordingly, it is imperative that policy be focused on generating the maximum possible pace of economic growth. The estate tax is an important element of pro-growth tax policy. Recent research indicates that the estate tax has significant impacts on asset accumulation (and, thus, balance sheet repair), as well as the payroll and investment decisions of small and family businesses.

However, the future of the estate tax is up in the air. At present, the tax is temporarily repealed, but in the absence of new legislation in 2011 the top effective tax rate will jump to 60 percent. A variety of proposals include top rates ranging from 35, to 45, to 65 percent.

This paper examines the impacts of a higher estate tax rate on asset accumulation, small and family businesses’ cost of capital, investment outlays, desire to hire, size of payrolls and jobs. In each instance, raising the estate tax has significant negative impacts. In particular, letting the tax rate rise to 60 percent will cost as much as 1.5 million jobs, and even a more modest rate of 15 percent could diminish hiring by over 350,000 jobs.

To view the full research document, click here.

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Afro American Newspapers: Families need a permanent, certain fix of Estate Tax

By Harry Alford
April 26, 2006

Why does the National Black Chamber of Commerce support the permanent elimination or the reduction of the estate tax? Because many of our family businesses are first generation businesses, where children work along side their parents, in these businesses. They would like to see their children continue the business for the benefit of their community and the family. They do not want to sell the business to pay the estate tax and eliminate the livelihoods for the next generation in addition to the jobs for those who they employ.

To read more, click here.

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Death Tax Squeezes Smaller Companies

By the Seattle Times Company Editorial Board
May 17, 2005

THE supporters of the death tax portray it as an egalitarian measure that taxes only the rich. But its effect in the real world of business is to squeeze middle-sized companies into selling out to bigger ones.

Consider who is motivated enough to attend the deathtax repeal meeting in Washington, D.C., to ask for final passage of deathtax repeal in the Senate. Not Boeing or Microsoft. Going from here are the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and owners of three businesses: The Seattle Times; Wild Ginger, an Asian restaurant; and GM Nameplate, a local maker of labels and graphics. The GM everyone knows is not there, but a trade association of car dealers is. Qwest is not there, but a little phone company from Niagara, Wis., is. Big agribusiness is not there, but the Farm Bureau is.

To view the full document, click here.

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PATG 100+ Executive Interviews of Hispanic Family-Owned Businesses

By Impacto Group
June 1, 2004
Prepared for Patricia Soldano

Overview

“It [death tax] affects everybody. If I shut down my business, it puts 18 families on the street. These families would then become dependent on the government for support, and it would increase the problem—not solve it.”                                                            

Hector J., manufacturing service and engineering contracting, Nev.

  • Few respondents expressed awareness and understanding of Federal estate taxes, and those who said they understood the tax implications believe it is a high priority to better educate the Hispanic community.
  • Since many respondents were not truly aware of the “death tax” and its economic implications, they expressed surprise and deep frustration in learning about its potential impact on their businesses and families.
  • Respondents were more stunned and concerned with the percentage of the “death taxes” (41%- 49%) than with the amount of the lifetime exemption, though many believe the $1M exemption is Nearly half of the respondents expressed that the 49% Federal tax rate was out-of-line or “ridiculous.”
  • When asked directly, 20% of Hispanic family business owners said they would sell their business or property early to provide liquidity to pay the [death] tax.
  • One third (36%) of respondents believe they can escape “death taxes” by taking their assets out of the country before their death.
  • Almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents disagree with the statement: “The ‘death tax’ does not affect me—only the wealthy.”

To view the full research document, click here.

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The Effects on Government Revenues from Repealing the Federal Estate Tax and Limiting the Step-Up in Basis for Taxing Capital Gains

By CONSAD Research Corporation
June 30, 2003

Approach

CONSAD Research Corporation has developed a computer model for estimating the changes in government revenues that will occur under proposals that, first, repeal the estate tax and, second, limit the degree to which a step-up in the basis for measuring taxable capital gains can be applied to the value of assets in estates. The analysis performed using that model indicates that there are several adaptations of economic behavior in response to such a change in tax structure that would offset most, if not all, of the revenues forgone by the repeal of the estate tax.

To view the full research document, click here.

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Women & The Death Tax

By Nancy M. Pfotenhauer
April 2002

Women have a special interest in how the death tax affects their families. In part that’s because women are the fastest growing group of business owners and employers. Whether you own a business yourself of work for a woman-owned business–as millions of Americans do–the death tax can affect your livelihood.

To view the full research document, click here.

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The Death Tax & Gay and Lesbian Americans

By Frank Luntz
April 24, 2001

Overview

The message to policymakers from this poll is clear. Gay and lesbian Americans overwhelmingly think they and their families are discriminated against by the “death tax,” and they want this tax abolished. Fully 80% of the gays and lesbians in this study voted for Gore in the 2000 elections, demonstrating that Republicans and Democrats have found common ground on this issue. Just as they believe gay families should be subject to the same laws and legal responsibilities as traditional families, they too should share the same rights and benefits. Not only are death taxes perceived as double or triple taxation for gay and lesbian partners and families, but they are strongly viewed as unfair and discriminatory.

To view the full research document, click here.

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