Ag industry applauds abolition of estate tax, detractors see gift to the wealthy

| September 29, 2017
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WASHINGTON — Those inside and out of the agriculture industry are making their opinions heard when it comes to new tax regulations that could take place.

In a press release from the USDA, Sonny Perdue stated, “The people of American agriculture work hard every day to provide food, fiber, and fuel for their fellow citizens, so they shouldn’t be overburdened by the tax collector as well. Most family farms operate as small businesses, with the line between success and failure frequently being razor thin. Add to that the complexity and costs of merely complying with the tax code, and their budgets are stretched even tighter.”

The estate tax, also being called the ‘death tax’, is also a hot topic for farmers. Perdue, along many others, have spoken out against it.

Perdue  explained, “On top of it all, the unfair ‘Death Tax’ can cause too many family farms to be broken up and sold off to pay the tax bill, undoing lifetimes of toil and preventing further generations from carrying on. President Trump is right to push for reform and reductions in the tax code—an overhaul that is long overdue.”

Pete Bonds, who runs the Bonds Ranch operation headquartered in Saginaw, Texas told the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association that for the sake of his farm future, the tax needed to go.

“Most ranchers, 90-plus percent of their assets is land. That land is not very liquid. And if at my death, if we had not done anything, the kids would have had to come up with several million dollars to pay the death tax. We don’t have that amount of money just sitting around.”

Some are also expressing their opinions on why it should stay, calling it a gift to the rich.

In a letter from 45 Senate democrats, including Senator Chuck Schumer, they stated, “Tax reform cannot be a cover story for delivering tax cuts to the wealthiest,” the senators wrote. “We will not support any tax plan that includes tax cuts for the top 1 percent.” The Democrats added that they “will not support any effort to pass deficit-financed tax cuts, which would endanger critical programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other public investments in the future.”

 

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Category: Farm, Farm News

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