Friday, November 12, 2010

Just in from Washington

Near Pocatello, Jake Putnam photo

Farm Groups Urge Estate Tax Relief This Year

Washington--The American Farm Bureau joined a coalition of 29 other agricultural organizations in asking members of the House and Senate to urge congressional leaders to reform current estate tax laws before the end of this year.

“This action will strengthen the business climate for farm and ranch families while ensuring agricultural businesses can be passed to future generations. Allowing estate taxes to be reinstated without an exemption and rate that protects family farms puts many operations at risk and threatens succession to the next generation of farmers,” the coalition of 30 farm groups said in a letter sent to members of Congress on Tuesday.

“If estate taxes are allowed to be reinstated at the beginning of 2011 with only a $1 million exemption and top rate of 55 percent, the negative impact on our industry will be significant. 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. It is also imperative that the exemption be indexed to inflation, provide for spousal transfers and include the stepped-up basis,” according to the letter.

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