NCBA President Todd Wilkinson Fears Lower Estate Tax Deductions by End of 2025

Listen to Ron Hays talk with NCBA’s Todd Wilkinson.

At the 2024 CattleCon held in Orlando, Florida, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, had the chance to talk with Todd Wilkinson as he wraps up his year as president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Our coverage from the 2024 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Orlando is being powered by Farm Data Services of Stillwater.

One of the biggest issues the industry will be faced with soon, Wilkinson said, is the complications of the death tax.

“The urban public out there doesn’t really understand the ag part of it, because probably we are such a small portion of the population,” Wilkinson said. “What they look at, is you know, we own farmland, we own cattle, we own machinery, and they think we have all the money in the world. What they don’t understand is the nature of our business is so asset-intensive.”

By the end of 2025, Wilkinson said those deductions farmers and ranchers are accustomed to could be cut in half. Without action, Wilkinson said there will be a 40 percent tax rate for land that is transferred to family members.

Wilkinson said the land is the livelihood of farmers and ranchers, so putting a bigger tax rate on that land is going to give some individuals no other option than to sell land or cattle.

“A lot of us are dealing with this issue, but frankly, your friends and neighbors that are in the big cities don’t understand it,” Wilkinson said. “They don’t have everything they own tied up in fixed assets.”

Regarding proper labeling of lab-grown meat, Wilkinson said there has been progress.

“It is remarkable the way that legislation is being introduced at the state level,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson added that lab-grown meat must be labeled correctly to ensure the trust of the beef consumer is kept and to avoid confusion in the grocery store.

“They can trust right now that the USDA stamp means something,” Wilkinson said. “We have to protect that.”

Wilkinson said this production is a few years down the road, but it is important to stay ahead.

“If we lose the label of beef, we have lost the war,” Wilkinson said. “We need to get the rules written now because this stuff is really coming forward.”

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR at the top of the story for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

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