Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), the largest HVACR equipment distributors association, announced its 2017 initiative to repeal the federal estate tax.

This year HARDI members will “Heat Up the Hill” to support South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune and Rep. Kristi Noem’s Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017, S. 205 and H.R. 631.

The majority of HARDI members are family owned and operated businesses that could be devastated by the death tax. Currently, 70 percent of family businesses do not survive to the second generation and more than 90 percent do not survive the third generation.

Jon Melchi, vice president of government affairs said, “Our members consistently list the death tax among the top issue of concern for our association, and, with this new initiative, we can help lead the charge in repealing the tax.” Melchi added, “Many of our members have seen first-hand the effort it takes to keep a family business running with the death tax. To our members, the death tax causes harm, both in life and in death, because they are forced to spend hours of time and invest capital in strategies to avoid closing the business in order to pay the tax, taking money away from their employees by increasing the cost of doing business.”

HARDI will activate its membership to push for repeal through visits to Congressional offices by business owners and a nationwide campaign to bring the public’s attention to the need to repeal the death tax.

In 2015, HARDI kicked off its “Heat Up the Hill” initiative supporting repeal of the estate tax and supported the House of Representatives passing the Death Tax Repeal Act for the first time in 10 years. Momentum for repeal of the estate tax has been building in recent years. During his campaign, President Trump called for repeal of the estate tax and Congressional Republicans included repeal in their tax reform “blueprint.”

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