AFBF: Death Tax Repeal Act ‘gets the job done’

FB News

Posted 7/3/2013


America’s farm and ranch families welcome legislation that would permanently repeal the estate tax, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, which issued its support for the recently introduced Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013.  The legislation was introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) in the Senate and Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) in the House.

While significant tax relief was enacted last year to help farmers cope with estate taxes, AFBF believes that permanent repeal is still the best solution to protect all farms and ranches. The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013 would repeal the estate tax, maintain stepped-up basis and make permanent a 35 percent maximum gift tax rate and $5 million lifetime gift tax exemption indexed for inflation.

“Individuals, family partnerships and family corporations own 98 percent of our nation’s 2 million farms and ranches,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “When estate taxes on an agricultural business exceed cash and other liquid assets, surviving family partners may be forced to sell land, buildings or equipment needed to keep their businesses running. This not only can cripple a farm or ranch operation, but also hurts the rural communities and businesses that agriculture supports.”

The value of family-owned farms and ranches is usually tied to illiquid assets, such as land, buildings and equipment, said AFBF. With 85 percent of farm and ranch assets illiquid, producers have few options when it comes to generating cash to pay the estate tax. Recent increases in agriculture cropland values, on average 15 percent from 2011 to 2012, have greatly expanded the number of farms and ranches that now top the estate tax exemption.

“Farm Bureau believes the estate tax should be eliminated permanently,” concluded Stallman. “We fully support The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013  to get the job done.”

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