Something we’ve talked many times about over the years is the Estate Tax, or as many know it as, the Death Tax. It has been a top issue for agriculture groups and has been discussed in our nation’s capital various times. And, it’s being discussed again, as last week Senator John Thune (R-SD) and 40 colleagues reintroduced legislation to permanently repeal the federal estate tax. The “Death Tax Repeal Act” would end a tax that hits family-run farms, ranches, and businesses hard after the owner’s death.
“Agriculture is the backbone of the rural American economy,” Thune says. “Family-owned farms and ranches often bear the brunt of this tax, which makes it difficult and costly to pass these businesses down to future generations.”
“No cattle producer should ever be forced to sell their family’s farm or ranch to pay a tax bill due to the death of a family member. Repealing the Death Tax is a commonsense way to keep the farm or ranch in the family,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President and South Dakota cattle producer Todd Wilkinson. “As a land-based, capital-intensive industry, most cattle producing families are asset-rich and cash-poor, with few options to pay off tax liabilities. It is unacceptable that some families are forced to sell off land, farm equipment, parts of the operation, or the entire ranch to pay the estate tax. We need a tax code that promotes the continuation of family-owned businesses instead of breaking them up.”
NCBA notes that ensuring a farm or ranch can be passed to children or grandchildren is a priority for family-owned farms, ranches and agricultural businesses. It is critically important that producers and business owners have permanent relief from the Death Tax. Current Death Tax relief is set to expire at the end of 2025, and it is vital that Congress takes immediate action to provide permanent relief for agricultural families.
NCBA is committed to working with Senator Thune and members of the Senate and House, those who support American cattlemen and women and rural communities to kill the Death Tax.