Death Tax

Death Tax

Death Tax. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.

Congressman Dan Newhouse has jumped into the political fray and has not been shy about supporting the rights of farmers. He recently spoke in committee about the federal estate tax or what we call the "death tax" and how this act could spell the demise of many farming and orchard operations.

NEWHOUSE: Those of you that may not know in my real life I'm a farmer and so having us address something that myself, plus many of my constituents, many of my neighbors see as a huge issue, something that they worry about even thought they are still living because what do farmers want to do? They work their whole lives to be able to build something up that they can pass onto the next generation.

The House has voted 240 to 179 for full repeal of the Death Tax, a tax that is threatening the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers across the country.

NEWHOUSE: And when you are faced with a huge bill on top of the passing of a family member that will preclude you from doing that, that's just something that I see as counter-productive for what we want people to do is build the American dream.

At the end of 2012, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act, narrowly avoiding a return to a $1 million estate tax exemption with a 55 percent tax rate. This legislation provided a permanent exemption of the estate tax of $5 million per individual, 10 million per couple, and raised the top tax rate to 40 percent.

NEWHOUSE: Even though your estate may be valued in the seven figure number, that does not mean your liquidity is of that same health. In order to pay some of these tax bills you are required in order to come up with that money you have to sell assets in order to come up with the money order to pay those bills.

That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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