GOP leaders focus on tax legislation study
Republican leaders of the agriculture committees are highlighting a new study that states Democrats’ proposed legislation would devastate the next generation of family farmers and ranchers.
House Committee on Agriculture ranking member Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Pa., and Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., requested the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University to analyze two pieces of legislation introduced in the Senate that would change the tax liabilities of family members when farm and ranch estates are passed from generation to generation.
AFPC’s study analyzed two bills: the Sensible Taxation and Equity Promotion (STEP) Act, which proposes to eliminate stepped-up basis upon death of the owner, and the for the 99.5 Percent Act, which would decrease the estate tax exemption.
According to the study, if the STEP Act were to be implemented, 92 of AFPC’s 94 representative farms would be impacted with an average additional tax liability of more than $720,000 per farm. Together, the two bills would raise taxes an average of $1.4 million on 98% of AFPC’s representative farms, said AFPC.
“The data speaks for itself and should give pause to anyone considering this approach as an option to pay for new additional federal spending. If changes of these magnitude are pursued, as some have discussed, the economic harm it will cause will have a lasting impact on rural America,” Boozman said.
“The livelihoods of American farmers are on the chopping block with proposed changes to stepped-up basis and the estate tax. Many Democrats love to talk about taxing the richest of the rich, but in reality, their proposals would hurt Main Street far more than Wall Street. The economic harm that will inevitably fall onto on our farmers, ranchers, and producers is too great a burden to gamble with, even with proposed carve-outs and exemptions. The report released today from the Agricultural and Food Policy Center underscores what the industry has known for years — new taxes on farmers are more than just an annoyance, they’re a generational threat to farm families,” Thompson said.
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