“People have been paying their taxes. They’ve been paying the ad valorem tax, they’ve been keeping the school running, the hospital running, the local water system running. They’ve been paying their income tax. They’ve been doing their share.”
Tim Koopman’s family survived two fights with the death tax. But that was before urban expansion and Silicon Valley billionaires threatened to ruin the land.
A death tax bill forced Kerry Lightsey to sell his ranch. Now that same land is a living testament to suburban sprawl. Instead of pristine pasture that provided for cattle and Florida’s wildlife, the land has been converted to a massive apartment complex.
WASHINGTON (Sept. 27, 2017) — Craig Uden, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, today released the following statement in response to the “Unified Framework” for comprehensive tax reform legislation:
“Our Nation’s cattle producers are very pleased that President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have maintained their long-standing commitment to American agriculture by including a full repeal of the onerous death tax in the Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code. We look forward to working with the Administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill as pen meets paper on tax legislation, and will continue to demonstrate how the death tax and its associated costs adversely affect family-owned operations and the rural communities they support.
“Also, current provisions in the tax code that help livestock producers maintain economically viable businesses and support the success of future generations of farmers and ranchers must be preserved. Stepped-up basis, cash accounting, like-kind exchanges, cost recovery, and the deductibility of interest payments are just a handful of the provisions that allow agricultural producers to survive despite the many challenges we face, from market volatility and fluctuating input prices, to droughts, wildfires, and floods, to the challenge of generational transfers. We’ll closely monitor these provisions as more details on legislative language become available, and intend to fight tooth and nail for a tax code that supports America’s beef producers.”
Throughout September, NCBA has executed an extensive online media campaign to promote comprehensive tax reform. The group yesterday released the campaign’s fourth video, which has collected more than 57,000 views in less than 24 hours. As the end of the campaign draws to a close, the videos featuring beef producers have already been viewed a combined 317,000 times and have reached more than 590,000 people on Facebook.
Rancher Pete Bonds has a simple message for Congress when it comes to the death tax.
“We move forty to fifty thousand cattle through here a year, and that’s $75-$100 million dollars and there’s interest on almost all of that money, so to lose the interest deduction would be actually catastrophic for us. It’s kind of almost beyond what I could get my brain around.”
“You’d think in operating a business like this, the most important decisions would be strategic decisions about buying or selling cattle or buying and selling land,” Wolf says while sitting in his pickup truck surrounded by his cattle. “Instead the most important decisions I’ve made have been estate-planning decisions, and they have impacted our ability to maintain our operation more than anything else – and that doesn’t really seem right.”
Kevin Kester’s family has been ranching in California since the 1860s, but it’s not weather conditions or market volatility that keeps him up at night. The death tax harmed his family and community before. Now he’s worried it could happen again.
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