With 218 co-sponsors—more than half of the House of Representatives—on board, legislation to repeal estate taxes is ripe for floor action, the American Farm Bureau Federation said today. Rep. Kevin Brady’s (R-Texas) Death Tax Repeal Act, H.R. 2429, would repeal estate taxes, and maintain stepped-up basis. “Although permanent law enacted as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 provided significant estate tax relief, repeal is the best solution to protect all farms and ranches from the estate tax,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.
The estate tax burden falls heavily on farmers because it takes more capital assets, such as land and equipment, to generate the same level of income as other types of businesses. If Congress fails to permanently repeal the estate tax, surviving family members may be forced to sell off parts of their farms, ultimately jeopardizing their livelihoods.
“Look at land alone,” Stallman said. “As it skyrockets in value, the chances of surviving family members having to sell some substantial acreage to pay estate taxes grows right along with it. This not only can cripple a farm or ranch operation, but also hurts the rural communities and businesses that agriculture supports.”