Permanent Death Tax Repeal Critical for U.S. Ranchers

US - NCBA applauds bipartisan introduction of repeal legislation in the House
calendar icon 21 May 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Washington, D.C. (May 18, 2007) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), representing generations of ranching families across the nation, strongly supports legislation introduced late last night that will fight for full, permanent repeal of the Death Tax. Congressmen Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) and Robert Cramer (D-Ala.) introduced the bill, H.R. 2380, with 67 original cosponsors.

“By once again introducing legislation to repeal this onerous tax, these members of Congress 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,” says North Carolina cattle producer and NCBA President John Queen.

“The Death Tax is detrimental to the farming and ranching families who live off the land and run asset-rich, cash poor family operations,” says Queen. “These families want to pass their successful operations on to future generations. Yet more often than not, the Death Tax prevents them from doing just that.”

Reducing the tax burden on ranchers has always been a top priority for NCBA and the cattle industry. For decades, NCBA has urged full and permanent repeal of this tax.

“Our priority is to keep families in agriculture, and this tax works against that goal,” says Queen. “The appraised value of rural land is extremely inflated when compared to its agricultural value. Many cattle producers are forced to sell off land, parts of the operation, or the entire ranch to pay off tax liabilities. This takes more open space out of agriculture, usually into the hands of urban developers.”

Currently, a 10-year phase-out to full repeal by 2010 is scheduled. But the tax will be re-instated in 2011 (back to 2001 levels), unless Congress approves legislation making the repeal permanent.

“We have farm and ranch families that are paying for their ranches two and three times, all while paying taxes on the income used in their operations,” explains Jay Truitt, NCBA’s vice president of government affairs. “Temporary repeal was a step forward. But unless you’re planning on dying in 2010 — the time is now to pass permanent repeal of this tax.”

“Cattle producers are working hard to maintain the ranches built by our forefathers,” says Queen. “Without permanent repeal, the Death Tax could hit us with a devastating blow of up to 55 percent in taxes on the entire operation when a family member dies. We just can’t afford that and sustain our operations. It is an unfair tax on the American dream.”

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