Hopes For Lame Duck Session
Optimism is high that the Farm Bill will pass in the Lame Duck session of Congress before the end of this year. With the “powers that be” staying the same in Washington after the election numerous leaders in the ag industry are saying that, although they had hoped to see changes that would result in real reform on such things as tax policy, and the Endangered Species Act, at least knowing what they’re up against gives them a better idea of what to expect. The “death tax” is one of the biggest concerns for farmers and ranchers right now. If it reverts back to much higher levels, it will more than likely be the straw that breaks the camels back. A fifty-five percent tax on all assets would force many producers into liquidation. It seems that it would be a “no brainer” decision, but many Americans, including several members of Congress are under the impression that the federal estate tax exemption is just a tax cut for the rich. But it doesn’t take a very big farming or ranching operation to have assets in excess of a million dollars, which is what the death tax exemption amount will go down to if something isn’t done.