Thirty-one agricultural organizations have come together in a letter to President Obama to urge immediate, permanent and meaningful estate tax reform. The groups support permanently increasing the exemption level to no less than $5 million per person and reducing the top rate to no more than 35%. If Congress does not act before the end of the year the estate tax will revert back to 2001 levels with the exemption at $1 million with a top rate of 55%. According to the organizations this would have a significantly negative impact on the ag industry.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association was one of the groups signing the letter. President Steve Foglesong says farmers and ranchers have faced uncertainty for far too long when it comes to planning ahead for the future of their estates. He says President Obama needs to force action on this.
"Taxing farmers and ranchers out of business will have serious impact on all Americans," Fogelsong said. "This is not a tax on the wealthy elite, but is a death warrant for small-to-medium sized family businesses."
Several of the ag groups are hosting a press conference in Washington D.C. Tuesday to discuss the issue.