Death Tax legislation introduced to Congress

Published online: Jun 21, 2013
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Republicans have introduced legislation in both the House and Senate to repeal the estate tax.

The bill has strong support from the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Tax relief was passed last year to help protect farmers by raising the asset threshold to $5 million, but increased the tax rate from 35 to 40 percent. This new legislation is looking for permanent repeal.

American Farm Bureau Tax Specialists, Pat Wolff says that a lot of farms were protected, but many are still threatened.

"There are farms and ranches that are over that exemption level and with land values ever increasing, many more farms will top the $5 million in the future."

She says that eliminating the tax would not hurt the federal government's revenue.

"At the press conference announcing the introduction of the bill, one of the co-sponsors said it would be equal to a day or two of federal spending," she said, "so it's significant, but it's not that much."

She also explained that there are ways that farmers can plan around the bill, but did not think that should be necessary. 

"It's really a waste of money" she said, "and it shouldn't have to take place if we can just repeal the tax."

The Farm Bureau says not only does the bill affect farmers and ranchers, but communities and industries that are dependent on agriculture also feel the pinch.