Monday, April 19, 2010

Death Tax Reform

Ag Groups Unify in Call for Immediate Estate Tax Reform
Wisconsin Ag Connection

Washington--Several agricultural groups are joining together in a unified call for permanent and meaningful estate tax relief for America's farm and ranch families. In a letter to Senate leaders, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell 28 farm organizations stated that inaction on fixing the looming estate tax challenge would be disastrous for agriculture.

"American agriculture is traditionally a family-owned enterprise, and estate taxes can take a severe toll on family members who wish to carry on the farm and ranch tradition," said American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman. "Portions of farm and ranch resources frequently have to be sold to pay for the resulting estate tax, and if something is not done soon, the bite of those taxes in 2011 will be even more severe."

If Congress does not act beginning in 2011, the law will call for a $1 million exemption and top rate of 55 percent. The negative impact on farm and ranch families will be significant and will cause many viable agricultural operations to disappear.

"We support permanently raising the exemption to no less than $5 million per person and reducing the top rate to no more than 35 percent," the organizations stated. "It is also imperative that the exemption be indexed to inflation, provide for spousal transfers and include the stepped-up basis."

The groups urged Congress to immediately pass permanent estate tax reform, which they stated 'provides the greatest relief and certainty for agriculture and helps strengthen the business climate for family farmers, ranchers and growers while ensuring agricultural businesses are passed to future generations.'

The following are the issues the Farm Bureau has identified as being the most relevant to our members:
Ad Hoc Disaster Assistance
Clean Air Act
Clean Water Act
Free Trade Agreements
Labor & Immigration
Food Safety & Labeling
Climate Change / Energy Policy
Estate & Capital Gains Taxes
Dairy Policy - Economic Improvement

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