Periodically we hear about a possible repeal of the estate tax. The Farm Journal reports that several lawmakers have introduced a bill to repeal the estate tax, citing its disproportionate impact of farmers, ranchers, and business owners. It’s true that the estate tax represents an enormous burden on America’s farmers, who work and pay taxes their whole life to purchase land and equipment that will be used in the agri-business, only to be taxed on those same assets at death.
Not only is the tax expensive, but the planning that goes into creating legal estate plans to avoid taxation is also costly and time-consuming. All too often, farmers’ heirs, who may be farmers themselves, find themselves taking out loans, selling land, relying on insurance, or disposing of assets to pay estate taxes.
So what do you think? How have you seen the estate tax affect your agricultural family? Do you have any ideas that would help to solve the problem for farmers hoping to pass a working farm on to the next generation? What do you think are the chances that proposed legislation will pass through Congress?