Farm bureau chief urges estate law repeal

Repealing two estate laws would go a long way toward helping America's farmers and ranchers, the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation said recently.

In a recent letter to the members of the U.S. House of Representatives as well as Congress, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall is urging the passing of two proposed state tax laws.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s website, tax laws currently in place allow a $5 million tax exemption which is indexed for inflation.

“Instead of spending money on life insurance and estate planning, many farmers today can expand their businesses, upgrade buildings and purchase needed equipment and livestock. More importantly, when a family member dies the family can continue farming without having to sell land, livestock or equipment to pay the tax,” Duvall wrote, explaining how the current laws were aiding the agriculture industry.

But, according to Duvall’s letter, estate taxes continue to be a burden on American farmers and ranchers.

The two proposed laws, the bipartisan Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017 (H.R. 631, S. 205), introduced in the House by Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) and in the Senate by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), would help protect the family farms that grow America’s food and fiber, often for rates of return that are insignificant compared to almost any other investment they could make, according to Duvall.

“Family-owned farm and ranch assets usually are tied to illiquid assets such as land, buildings and equipment. When estate taxes on an agricultural business exceed cash and other liquid assets, surviving family partners have few options other than to sell off farm and ranch assets, jeopardizing the viability of their business.”

Organizations in this Story

American Farm Bureau Federation

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