Tax proposals risk future of American farms

The American Farm Bureau Federation, 46 state Farm Bureaus, and 280 organizations representing family-owned agribusinesses sent a letter to Congressional leaders about tax policies. The letter asks them to leave important tax policies in place as they draft legislation implementing President Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda.

The letter addresses four key tax provisions that make it possible for farmers and ranchers to survive and pass their businesses on to the next generation: estate taxes, stepped-up basis, the 199A small business deduction, and like-kind exchanges.

“The policies Congress enacts now will determine agricultural producers’ ability to secure affordable land to start or expand their operations,” the letter says. “Regardless of whether a business has already been passed down through multiple generations or is just beginning, the key to their longevity is a continued ability to transition when a family member or business partner dies.”

For this reason, the groups firmly believe the current federal estate tax code provisions must be maintained. These tools are as crucial as ever because the number of farmers and ranchers 65 and over outnumbers those under 35 by four to one. Over 370 million acres of land will change hands in the next two decades.

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