National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson opposed Thursday’s action in the U.S. House of Representatives that would repeal the estate tax, stating the move would place a larger tax burden on American family farmers and ranchers.
“Repeal of the estate tax puts a larger tax burden on those that are currently exempted from the tax,” said Johnson. “Over 99 percent of small farms do not face the tax, as estates under $5.43 million, $10.86 million for couples, are exempted from it. As a result, NFU opposes completely eliminating the tax.
Johnson noted that Congress has repeatedly decreased the tax rate and increased the exemptions, making it increasingly unlikely for family farms to face the tax.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that only 0.6 percent of farms have to pay an estate tax, and that another 2.1 percent would have to file returns but would not owe any taxes,” said Johnson. “It is not the estate tax that hurts family farmers. It is repealing the tax that would give them an increased share of the overall tax load.”
Johnson also noted that the move would add to the nation’s debt. “The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that repealing the estate tax without offsetting revenue or spending will increase the deficit by $269 billion over 10 years. This drag on the U.S. economy will bring rural America down with it.”