Van Hollen proposes end to stepped-up basis; Hoeven, Grassley opposed
Chris Van Hollen
Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., joined by fellow Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., called Monday to end stepped-up basis, the tax provision that allows land and other investments to pass from one generation to the next without capital gains taxation at the time of death.
A senior Biden administration official told reporters on Tuesday, March 30, that the stepped-up basis proposal is not Biden’s. The official said that the tax provisions in Biden’s infrastructure proposal do not include capital gains taxes.
“The stepped-up basis loophole is one of the biggest tax breaks on the books, providing an unfair advantage to the wealthy heirs every year. This proposal will eliminate that loophole once and for all. It’s time to stop subsidizing massive inheritances for the rich and start investing in everyday Americans,” Van Hollen said in a news release.
The stepped-up basis provision is particularly important to farm families because farmland usually goes up in value over a farmer’s lifetime and is worth much more at the time of death.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, pointed out to reporters Wednesday, March 31, that farmers usually buy land to increase the productivity of their operations and that Iowa farmers have told him they are concerned by this proposal.
A spokeswoman for Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee ranking member John Hoeven, R-N.D., told The Hagstrom Report, “Sen. Hoeven is opposed to any legislation that would eliminate stepped-up basis and increase the estate tax.”
“Rather, he believes that the federal estate tax should be repealed once and for all, to provide certainty and reduce complexity for farms, ranches, and small businesses passed down to family members. Estate planning and ensuring the future operations of a farm, ranch, or small business is difficult enough, and eliminating stepped-up basis would only make these decisions more challenging.”
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