Ohio Farm Bureau Federation members are joining farmers nationwide to ask Congress to extend the current estate tax exemption and rate, which are set to expire Jan. 1.
The current exemption is set at $5 million with a top rate of 35 percent. If current provisions are not extended by Jan. 1, the exemption will shrink to $1 million and the top rate will jump to 55 percent.
“With current agricultural land in Ohio valued at an average of $5,000 per acre, it would only take 200 acres to reach the $1 million exemption, not including the many other assets a farmer owns. With the average size of an Ohio farm being 185 acres, you can see that many more farms would be affected if current provisions are not maintained and why we are concerned about the impact on family farms,” said Yvonne Lesicko, OFBF senior director of legislative and regulatory policy.
OFBF has sent out an action alert, asking members to contact their senators and representatives to ask them to extend the current maximum estate tax rate and exemption.
Maintaining the current maximum rate and exemption, gives family farms a better chance at remaining in operation when transferring from one generation to the next.
Farm Bureau members have been seeking long term estate tax reform for more than two decades, with nine changes in the exemption and tax rates between 2002 and 2012. Farmers would benefit greatly from certainty in the rates and exemptions, so they can effectively prepare for the future and pass along their farms from one generation to the next.
Visit American Farm Bureau’s tax issue website to find more information about joining the effort against the estate tax.