Discussions about the estate tax have died down somewhat since Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which locked in a death tax rate of 40% and a $5-million exemption level indexed to inflation. I think Congress hoped that by passing meaningful legislation, it would placate the growing concern and loud protests from the meager country mice like you and me.
Folks in agriculture, particularly ranching, tend to have our assets tied up in the value of the land, which has greatly accelerated in value recently. When the primary generation passes, the family can be forced to break up and sell portions, or all, of the farm in order to pay the tax obligation. That not only can spell the end of that family operation but often leads to the parceling of the land for development.
J.D. Alexander, former National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president and a farmer-feeder from Pilger, NE, says, “If nothing is done, the estate tax could be the ruin of rural America and small communities.”
I agree with Alexander’s statements, and I believe we must continue to push forward and get the death tax repealed to protect farm and ranch families from falling under Uncle Sam’s grasp.
I’m pleased to hear that one of our elected officials in Washington, D.C., has heard the pleas from rural America and is taking action. U.S. Rep.Richard Hudson (R-NC) has introduced HR 483, the Farmers Against Crippling Taxes (FACT) Act, which would axe the death tax.
“In a struggling economy such as ours, we should be finding ways to let people keep more of their hard-earned money,” Hudson says.“The American people work hard, save, invest, and want to leave future generations with more opportunities and a better life. Unfortunately, the death tax discourages all those traditional American values. It makes no sense for the federal government to punish our farmers and small business owners, the very entrepreneurs who make economic growth and development possible. Their success does not belong to the federal government, and the benefits of their labor shouldn’t be confiscated from their children and grandchildren when they die. The Farmers Against Crippling Taxes (FACT) Act will repeal the immoral and unfair tax burden the federal government heaves upon the American farmer and end the double taxation that threatens family farms, small businesses, and jobs. It is time we recognize the facts of this heinous tax and repeal it once and for all.”
I’m told the bill has already drawn bipartisan support and nearly 60 co-sponsors.
Read more about Hudson’s take on the devastating effects of the death tax in his most recent column here.
Let’s build some momentum on this bill and see if we can get it pushed forward. Call yourelected officials and urge them to back this measure.Express your concerns about the estate tax and howit could impact your family.
What do you think about this bill? Does FACT look like it has the chops to go the distance?