YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Burying the death tax
By Gary Joiner
Lawmakers in both the U.S. House and Senate have introduced legislation to repeal the federal estate tax.
When farm and ranch families are hit with the estate tax, they often have to sell assets to cover the expense. That means possibly selling part of the farm and ranch that he family has paid taxes on for years to pay the tax bill.
Right now, the estate tax exemption level is high enough that most farmers and ranchers wouldn’t have to pay estate taxes. But there are those on Capitol Hill who want to roll back that exemption and then use that money to pay for their spending priorities. If that were to happen, then the estate tax problem is no longer theoretical, it becomes very real.
Real for over 70,000 farm and ranch families across the country and nearly half of all farmland, according to an analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The bipartisan legislation in Congress repeals the estate tax or so-called death tax. It would be buried, hopefully forever.
The bill is a repeat of previous Congresses, so it has a lot of supporters already. There are over 120 co-sponsors on the House side. Let’s hope this Congress finally carries the effort across the finish line.
The tax code should encourage farm business growth, not add to uncertainty. Eliminating the death tax removes another barrier to entry for sons and daughters or other beginning farmers and ranchers, making agriculture more accessible to all.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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