NCBA urges Congress to pass permanent estate tax relief

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WASHINGTON —The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) joined more than 30 groups representing the agriculture industry in sending letters to the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate urging them to provide farmers and ranchers with permanent and meaningful relief from the estate tax. Current estate tax relief is set to expire at the end of 2012 with exemption levels dropping to $1 million per individual and the tax rate increasing to 55 percent.

“If Congress allows current estate tax relief to expire it will have a devastating impact on the cattle industry. America’s farmers and ranchers are small business owners who cannot afford to foot the bill for government inaction,” said NCBA President J.D. Alexander. “The fate of American agriculture and our economic recovery rests on there being certainty in the tax code and continued relief from the burdensome death tax.”

Reducing the tax burden on cattlemen and women has always been a top priority for NCBA and the beef cattle community. For decades NCBA has fought for full and permanent repeal of the estate tax. Alexander said that at a minimum, NCBA supports extending the exemption level to $5 million per person and retaining the top rate of 35 percent until permanent repeal is achievable.

Uncertainty in the tax code, specifically with the estate tax, creates an unnecessary burden for farmers and ranchers who are forced to set aside valuable resources for estate planning instead of investing in the expansion of their family businesses. More than 96 percent of American farms and ranches are owned and operated by families, and eliminating the death tax is an important step in stimulating the nation’s economy.

Ranching families are often land rich and cash poor, with the appraised value of rural land being extremely inflated when compared to its agricultural value. Many cattle producers are forced to spend an exorbitant amount of money on attorneys or sell off land or parts of their operations to pay off tax liabilities.

“NCBA stands with our partners in agriculture in urging Congress to act by the end of this year to renew the current estate tax relief until full repeal of the estate tax is possible,” said Alexander. “We will continue to make this our top priority until there is certainty in the tax code and rural America is relieved from the devastating effects of the estate tax.”

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Tami Rai    
Montana  |  November, 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Too late for us....our ole timer parents didn't have connections, the reality know how their land was valued so high, and because of a few words missing in their wills, IRS wouldn't give exemption of one of the parents and lost the irreplacable sentimental producing 5 generation family ranch breaking up a family forever for generations to come. They did charge us 55%. To top it all off, Obama's administrational changes brought more IRS to our door wanting even more even after delaying and changing their decisions after 2 years still charging us interest. Keep so hoping we can get any kind of reversals to help get our ranch back. Have tried many things, government doesn't care, they just want money no matter how they get it.

SD  |  November, 18, 2012 at 06:08 PM

It is such a tragedy, for families, communities, and this nation to break up a productive FAMILY farm or ranch. That is a totally obscene tax for people in agriculture, a business which is very high in assets and very cash poor! An industry which has a very small return on a necessarily high investment, nearly ALWAYS accumulated slowly over generations of hard work and frugal living. I certainly hope you are working to find people who can help you in the legal system, possibly an advocate for ending such injustices. This tax benefits SO much from the CLASS ENVY pushed by too many government entities from individual candidates to agencies. It is hard to think of a tax which costs our government more for compliance and collection and returns LESS. . Nor a tax which is CLAIMED to break up wealth which leaves more of the very WEALTHIESn untouched, or certainly in a sound financial position that does the DEATH TAX.

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