Warren Davidson meets with Ohio farmers

Lawmakers getting Farm Bureau’s message on stepped-up basis

When the Biden administration and members of Congress introduced new tax plans earlier this year, concerns arose about how some of the changes being proposed would impact family farms across Ohio and the country. In particular, Ohio Farm Bureau took issue with the possibility of eliminating stepped-up basis, which has created a significant tax break for those inheriting an asset such as farmland.

As talks of these modified tax ideas began to ramp up, Farm Bureau issued an Action Alert to its members, asking them to reach out directly to their representatives and share how the changes in stepped-up basis would impact their farm and families.

“I think that the message we have been sharing with lawmakers is being heard loud and clear,” said Brandon Kern, senior director of state and national policy with Ohio Farm Bureau. “Because of our members’ efforts, we have been able to keep these detrimental tax changes out of legislation in Congress.”

During last week’s Ohio Farm Bureau Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience, taxes were one of the many issues heavily talked about, and lawmakers heard these points of concern in-person.

As a result, representatives on both sides of the aisle recently have spoken out against eliminating stepped-up basis, in particular.

“Ohio family farmers are a cornerstone of our economy and a pillar of our communities,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13) in a statement this week. “It is critical that Ohio’s family farms can continue to thrive from generation to generation without the fear of being hit with an unaffordable tax burden. That is why I applaud efforts to protect stepped-up basis within the Build Back Better Act, and I will continue to be a strong advocate to ensure this important measure for our family farmers is protected as Congress continues to debate this package.”

There are still some legislative opportunities that could add in the proposed tax changes that would greatly affect agriculture, so it is not too late to contact your member of Congress to voice your concerns.

“Stepped-up basis is still something Democrats would like to get rid of and that would be a huge problem,” said Sen. Rob Portman. “That would require a lot of farmers to have to sell property altogether just to pay the tax bill, and we can’t go back to that.”