The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) said it concurs with a Joint Economic Committee (JEC) report that details the financial harm posed by estate taxes on family businesses. The JEC, a bipartisan committee composed of members from the House and Senate, issued a report that outlined extensive costs associated with the estate tax in terms of the dissolution of family businesses, slower growth of capital stock and a loss of output and income over time.
“With the average age of a farmer being 58 years old, the estate tax creates even a steeper barrier for young farmers and ranchers to take up the profession at a time when farming is already difficult to enter,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.
The report also found that the estate tax impedes economic growth because it discourages savings and capital accumulation. AFBF supports permanent elimination of the estate tax. Until this can be accomplished, Farm Bureau supports extending the current $5 million exemption. Without congressional action, in 2013, the estate tax exemption will shrink to $1 million per person with no spousal transfer, and the top rate will increase to 55 percent, striking a blow to farmers and ranchers trying to transition from one generation to the next.