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Agricultural News

Death Tax Repeal Included in Senate Budget Resolution- Ag Groups Cheer

Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:02:03 CDT

Death Tax Repeal Included in Senate Budget Resolution- Ag Groups Cheer The National Cattlemen's Beef Association hails the passage of South Dakota Senator John Thune's amendment to the Fiscal Year 2016 budget resolution to create a deficit neutral reserve fund to eliminate the death tax. Following the vote, Sen. Thune issued the following statement:

"Senate Republican's budget is a framework for more efficient, effective, and accountable government, which is why it was so important that we take steps to eliminate barriers to small business survival and growth by passing this important amendment that will help to repeal the death tax. Imposing a tax rate as high as 40 percent on savings is not just bad for the economy, it's unfair to families that have saved and built job-creating small businesses in their local communities. I'm pleased the Senate acted today in favor of this common-sense amendment, and hope we can continue promoting policies that give farmers, ranchers, and family business owners peace of mind of knowing that they no longer have to spend substantial sums on planning to minimize their death tax liability."

Earler this month, several ag groups had representatives in front of the House Ways and Means- calling on Congress to eliminate the Estate Tax.

American Farm Bureau member and Tennessee farmer Brandon Whitt testified before the House Ways and Means Committee, where he outlined the harmful impact the estate tax has on family-owned businesses.

"Agriculture looks different on farms from state to state but we all face the same reality that an uncertain tomorrow can bring," Whitt said. While facing unpredictable weather and fluctuating markets, farmers and ranchers make decisions to expand their businesses and remain competitive. "Why should uncertainties over estate taxes be added to these others? Our job is hard enough as it is."

Whitt's family knows the harmful effects of the estate tax firsthand. Batey Farms, which Whitt runs with his wife the 7th generation on the farm and father-in-law, changed completely when his father-in-law was forced to sell off land to pay estate taxes: The land was lost to development, never to be recovered. Today, they continue to face expensive, long-term decisions to make Batey Farms viable far into the future, but they are committed to preserving the land for their community and future generations.

"We believe that our farm adds value to our town, that our neighbors value our open space, that our customers value having a local food source and that our farm market creates a sense of community," Whitt said.

Around 90 percent of farm and ranch assets are illiquid, with the value tied up in land, buildings and equipment. For Whitt's family, and thousands of others just like them, the ability to grow a business and pass it on to the next generation is slowed by a tax policy in direct conflict with the desire to preserve and protect our nation's family-owned farms and ranches.



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