Beef Buzz News
NCBA Works to Put Estate Tax on Front Burner for Congress
Thu, 14 Jun 2012 13:11:45 CDT
Ken Bacus of the NCBA talks to Ron Hays about the need to repeal the estate tax.
The automatic reversion of the estate tax which will allow the federal government to take 55 percent of all estates over $1million dollars will happen at the end of the year if Congress fails to take action.
Kent Bacus, associate director of legislative affairs for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, says it's an issue of incredible importance to his members.
"Without question, that's the biggest concern of farmers and ranchers all across America," he says.
"With land values increasing all across the country, with new investments in agricultural equipment in order to meet all that growing demand, there will be a lot of families who are going to be tripped up by that $1 million level."
Bacus says his organization is working hard to spur Congress into action.
"We're trying to make sure Congress understands how important this issue really is. It's not just a talking point they need to listen to. This is a real issue affecting the people who are feeding and clothing everyone around the world and we can't afford to kick this issue down the road anymore."
Motivating Congress to avoid kicking economically-sensitive issues down the road is never an easy job, and Bacus says this year it is even more difficult.
"Given the political realities this year, I think it's likely we won't see any meaningful action until after the election. If we're not able to achieve a full repeal of the estate tax this year, then we at least want a longer-term extension of the current rates as they are to give us more time to not only educate the members of Congress here, but to give more certainty in the tax code to our producers all over the country."
Bacus says he expects Congress will take up some tax legislation in the lame duck session, and he believes farm organizations can make a good case to include the estate tax in that package.
"This is a tax that farmers and ranchers don't need right now, especially during a time of economic recovery. There's no need to continue to tax property that people paid property tax on, paid income tax on over and over again. So we're hoping to have some action on it this year to provide some certainty to the tax code."
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