A group of more than 34 farm organizations, led by the USA Rice Federation, recently sent a letter to the House of Representatives and the Senate asking them to support permanent estate tax relief.
The estate tax, called the death tax by some, took center stage during the 2012 election. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney put repealing the estate tax at the center of his farm policy, claiming that it put undue pressure on small farmers across the country.
Current estate tax policy sets a $5 million per person exemption and caps estate taxes at 35 percent. These policies, however, are set to expire at the end of the year. If Congress does not pass new estate tax legislation or extend current tax policy, the exemption will shrink to $1 million and caps will expand to 55 percent.
The various farm groups have been pushing for a full repeal of the estate tax. Their recent letter states, in part, “At a minimum, we support extending the exemption at $5 million per person and retaining the top rate of 35 percent until such time as full repeal of the estate tax is possible. It is also imperative that any estate tax law passed, other than full repeal, index the exemption to inflation; provide for spousal transfers; and include the stepped-up basis.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer