Senator Seeks Estate Tax Repeal

South Dakota Senator John Thune recently introduced legislation in the Senate that would permanently repeal the estate tax. Citing economic burdens on farmers, Thune argued that the tax addend an unnecessary burden on small businesses, farms, and ranches.

The estate tax, pejoratively called the death tax by opponents, has been a controversial topic for the past several years. During the Clinton Administration, inherited estates worth more than $1,000,000 were subject to the tax. The Bush era tax cuts significantly reduced the amount of federal taxation and raised the protected estate levels. Currently, up to $5,000,000 can be passed to an individual without incurring estate taxes.

Thune, however, argues that this figure does not do enough to protect farmers and ranchers. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, whose president has pressured Congress to pass the repeal, supports him in this view. “By once again introducing legislation to repeal this onerous tax, lawmakers on both sides of Capitol Hill 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,” said president J.D. Alexander.

The proposed legislation, the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act, would abolish the estate tax in its entirety. Similar legislation has been introduced in the House, but the bill is not likely to pass the Democratically controlled Senate.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer