Weekly Legislative Update - March 4, 2019

TIA Signs onto Coalition Letter for Death Tax Repeal
TIA signed onto a coalition letter to support efforts to repeal the death tax.

The letter reads: 

Dear Senator Thune and Congressmen Smith:

The undersigned organizations support your bill, the Death Tax Repeal Act.

We appreciate your work to lead the country towards a common sense tax code that does not impose a destructive double or triple tax at death. We support full and permanent repeal of the federal estate tax for the following reasons:

Repealing the death tax would spur job creation and grow the economy. Many studies have quantified the potential job growth that would result from estate tax repeal. In 2017, the Tax Foundation found that the US could create over 150,000 jobs by repealing the estate tax. A 2012 study by the House Joint Economic Committee found that the death tax has destroyed over $1.1 trillion of capital in the US economy - loss of small business capital means fewer jobs and lower wages. Lawrence Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton; Alicia Munell, member of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors; Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate for economics; and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former CBO Director have all published work on the death tax's stifling effect on job growth and the economy as a whole.

The death tax contributes a very small portion of federal revenues. The estate tax currently accounts for approximately one half of one percent of federal revenue. A 2016 Tax Foundation analysis found repeal of the death tax would increase federal income taxes by $145 billion over 10 years using a more realistic, "dynamic" economic analysis. In addition, the death tax forces family businesses to waste money on expensive insurance policies and estate planning. These burdensome compliance costs make it even harder for business owners to expand their businesses and create more jobs.

A super-majority of likely voters support eliminating the death tax. Poll after poll has indicated that a super-majority of likely voters support repealing the estate tax. Typically, two-thirds of likely voters support full and permanent repeal of the death tax. People instinctively feel that the estate tax is not fair. A 2017 NPR/Ipsos Poll found that 65 percent of respondents favored repealing the estate tax, including 51 percent of self-identified Democrats polled.

The death tax is unfair. It makes no sense to require grieving families to pay a confiscatory tax on their loved one's nest egg. Far too often this tax is paid by selling family assets like farms and businesses. Other times, employees of the family business must be laid off and payrolls slashed. No one should be punished for fulfilling the American dream.

The negative effects of the estate tax make permanent repeal the only solution for family businesses and farms. Your legislation will help America's family businesses create jobs, expand operations, and grow the economy. We thank you for your leadership on this important issue.


Tire Industry Association

Auto Associations Oppose Missouri Legislation 
Repealing Vehicle Safety Inspections
Aftermarket Asks State Legislators to Reject House Bill 451
Automotive industry trade associations have joined to oppose legislation House Bill 451 in Missouri aimed at eliminating that state's premier vehicle safety inspection program.

The Auto Care Association, Automotive Service Association and Tire Industry Association are longtime advocates of periodic motor vehicle safety inspection in states.

In letters to Missouri state lawmakers, the aftermarket trade organizations noted the importance of protecting the motoring public through periodic motor vehicle safety inspections and provided information that supports maintaining these programs.
Last week, HB 451 received initial approval in the Missouri House of Representatives. It must also receive approval from the Missouri Senate.

The Auto Care Association, in a letter to Missouri legislators, highlighted a comprehensive University of Texas study:     
"After conducting a thorough investigation of the costs and safety impacts of eliminating the motor vehicle safety inspection for passenger vehicles, the findings from this study's analysis indicate that the Inspection Program saves lives and enhances safety. The research team strongly recommends the following: Retaining the Inspection Program and Conducting a further study to consider whether potential additional inspection items, such as tire age and recall information, should be included in the Inspection Program to further enhance highway safety in Texas."
In its letter to lawmakers, ASA lauded Missouri's nationally recognized vehicle safety program:

"We are writing today in opposition to House Bill 451, which seeks to eliminate the Missouri vehicle safety inspection program. ASA is a proponent of state vehicle safety inspection. Study after study has demonstrated that these programs prevent accidents, injuries and deaths. ASA has used the Missouri program as an example for other states of a successful vehicle safety inspection program. Data collected by Missouri in years past has been helpful in better understanding the importance of these programs by comparing states that have vehicle safety inspection programs with those states that do not."
TIA called for Missouri legislators to oppose the bill:
"On behalf of our members, we urge the House to reject HB 451. TIA believes the Inspection Program in the state of Missouri saves lives and enhances safety. Strong research has been conducted to support this claim. Removing the state inspection program could lead to more fatalities on Missouri roads, unsafe vehicles, and a loss of revenue to businesses and the state. For these reason, we urge the House to reject HB 451." 
The average age of vehicles on the road today is nearly 12 years, and the largest growing segment of vehicles is 16 years and older. These aging vehicles need to be able to meet safety standards for repair and maintenance in the interest of public safety for all motorists on the road.