The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), representing generations of farming and ranching families across the nation, strongly supports legislation introduced today, March 28, 2012, that will fight for full, permanent repeal of the estate tax. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act (S. 2242) to abolish the federal estate tax, which according to NCBA President J.D. Alexander, is an unnecessary tax on small businesses and farm and ranch families across the country. The bipartisan legislation is identical to the bill (H.R. 1259) introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Kevin Brady (R-Texas).
“By once again introducing legislation to repeal this onerous tax, lawmakers on both sides of Capitol Hill have demonstrated an understanding and appreciation for the immense burden this tax places on American cattle producers who are hoping to pass their operation on to the next generation,” said Alexander. “The death tax is detrimental to the farmers and ranchers who live off the land and run asset-rich, cash poor family-owned small businesses.”
Reducing the tax burden on ranchers has always been a top priority for NCBA and the beef cattle community. For decades, NCBA has urged full and permanent repeal of the estate tax.
“Our priority is to keep families in agriculture and this tax works against that goal,” said Alexander. “The appraised value of rural land is extremely inflated when compared to its agricultural value. Many cattle producers are forced to spend an enormous amount of money on attorneys or sell off land or parts of the operation to pay off tax liabilities. This takes more open space out of agriculture and usually puts it into the hands of urban developers.”
In December 2010, Congress passed temporary estate tax relief effective through December 31, 2012. For now, estates worth more than $5 million per individual, $10 million per couple are taxed at a rate of 35 percent. Unless Congress acts to provide permanent relief, the estate tax will revert back to pre-2001 levels where estates worth more than $1 million will be taxed at a rate of 55 percent. The Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act would completely stop the federal government from considering death as a taxable event.