Privately-Held and Family-Owned Businesses Come to Washington to Talk Tax Reform

Mar 21, 2012, 09:10 ET from Financial Executives International

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A dozen leaders from family-owned and privately-held businesses flew-in to Washington this week to meet with policymakers on tax policy and to hold its first meeting of the Privately-Held and Family-Owned Business Congressional Caucus. The fly-in was organized by Financial Executives International (FEI), a professional association of 15,000 senior financial executives from both private and public companies.

"Family-owned and privately-held businesses are essential job creators and necessary building blocks of our economic recovery.  They have come to Washington this week to ensure their voices are heard on economic policy and tax reform," said Marie Hollein, president and CEO of FEI. "Unfortunately, thus far, tax reform proposals have focused mostly on large public companies, while the Administration has suggested that family and private businesses 'manipulate' the tax code. We are here to set the record straight: we want to ensure that family and privately owned businesses are included in tax reform and that reform is fair and equitable."

This morning, they will join Congressman Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), co-chair of the "Privately-Held and Family-Owned Business Congressional Caucus" for its inaugural meeting.  This is the first official caucus in the United States House of Representatives aimed at giving a voice to privately-held and family-owned businesses. 

Yesterday, representatives of FEI met with the Administration and leaders from both parties and leading committees, including the House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Finance Committee, Senate Small Business Committee, and the Joint Committee on Taxation.  The group also held policy meetings with the office of the Speaker of the House, House Majority Leader, and the U.S. Treasury Department on the tax issues impacting private companies.  In these meetings, they gave voice to their concerns that family and private businesses are an important part of the economy and may be excluded from tax reform. This highlighted many of FEI's 12 priorities in 2012, which can be found here.

These events follow close on the heels of Congressional testimony by Mark Smetana, an FEI member and Eby-Brown Company CFO from the Chicago area who spoke on March 7 about the importance of including privately-owned and family-held businesses in any tax reform proposals.

The privately-held and family-owned businesses in town this week represent a variety of industries from numerous states around the country.  They are all active members of FEI's Committee on Private Company-Policy as well as the Private Company Roundtable, a grassroots network of private companies from 43 states that gather to discuss the major issues impacting private companies.  This group is the only one of its kind currently in formation and has become a major voice speaking out for privately-held and family-owned businesses. 

About FEI

Financial Executives International is the leading advocate for the views of corporate financial management. Its 15,000 members hold policy-making positions as chief financial officers, treasurers and controllers at companies from every major industry. FEI enhances member professional development through peer networking, career management services, conferences, teleconferences and publications. Members participate in the activities of 86 chapters, 74 in the U.S., 11 in Canada and 1 in Japan. FEI is headquartered in Morristown, NJ, with additional offices in Washington, D.C. and Toronto.  Visit for more information.

SOURCE Financial Executives International