IIAA Hails Enactment of ‘RELIEF’ Tax Bill

June 11, 2001

Millions of small businesses stand to benefit from the just-enacted Restoring Earnings To Lift Individuals and Empower Families (RELIEF) Act, which institutes changes that will lower tax bills and help perpetuate family-owned enterprises, according to Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) CEO Robert A. Rusbuldt.

President Bush signed the RELIEF Act (H.R. 1836) June 7 at the White House. Rusbuldt and IIAA Vice President of Federal Government Affairs Maria L. Berthoud attended the Rose Garden ceremony at the invitation of Administration officials.

While the $1.35-trillion, 11-year package is targeted to individual taxpayers, it also provides several tax cuts for small businesses and creates incentives for American workers to save for retirement. The new law reduces marginal tax rates, eliminates estate taxes, enacts retirement reform and more. IIAA actively supported President Bush’s efforts to lower the tax burden on individuals and small businesses.

Following is Rusbuldt’s statement on enactment of the RELIEF Act:

“The RELIEF Act extends a number of important tax benefits to small businesses and entrepreneurs. It returns work and productivity incentives to the tax code while simultaneously erasing several tax impediments to the continued success and viability of millions small businesses, including independent agencies.

“The new law reduces the tax bill of entrepreneurs by lowering marginal tax rates. This change will encourage owners to return the savings to their business in the form of hiring new workers, purchasing capital equipment and growing the business. This stimulus will provide a boost to the economy.

“Eliminating estate taxes gives many family-owned small businesses hope that they will survive beyond the current generation. The RELIEF Act truly gives relief from punitive death taxes for thousands of independent agencies.

“Just as important is the RELIEF Act’s implementation of incentives that will stimulate individuals to plan for their retirement years. The new law makes it easier for countless workers to meet their personal retirement savings goals.

“As numerous studies have shown, small business is the engine that drives the economy and helps reverse economic slowdowns. We are confident the RELIEF Act will provide the impetus for an economic turnaround. It’s refreshing that the tax code is now rewarding the success of American entrepreneurs instead of punishing their sweat equity.”

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