Senate Deals Blow to Ranch Families: Refuses Debate on Death Tax Repeal
WASHINGTON - The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has released the following statement from NCBA President and Missouri cattle producer Mike John regarding today’s Senate procedural vote on the “Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2005” (H.R. 8):
“Today will go down in history as the day 41 Senators slammed the door in the faces of America’s next generation of farmers and ranchers.
“These are the faces of our children, the faces of hard-working Americans who dedicate their lives to helping the family maintain small rural businesses only to find their efforts squelched by the strong-arm of the IRS at the time of a parent's death.
"Despite the House of Representatives passing bi-partisan repeal bills time and time again that would effectively terminate this devastating tax, the Senate has decided the issue doesn't even warrant debate.
“Today’s vote is a blatant vote against ranching and environmental preservation of open spaces. While these Senators are fighting traffic on Capitol Hill each day, farmers and ranchers are waking up before the sun rises to responsibly sustain rural landscapes across the United States. But when these families are hit with the Death Tax, and their land is appraised at skyrocketing levels, the only way out is to sell out.
“Thanks to this effort by a minority of the Senate, the families of America’s dwindling farmers and ranchers will be left with no choice but to sell out to developers and leave the cattle business, especially if they die after 2010. These 41 Senators basically voted to keep a cap on prosperity in the cattle business by reaffirming the current law, which reverts back to a $1 million exemption at a 55 percent rate in 2011. At these levels, almost every rural operation in America will be directly hit. After decades of fighting, we will once again be back to square one.
“For almost 20 years, NCBA has brought this issue into the national spotlight and helped successfully pass permanent repeal in the House of Representatives. Today’s vote was a vote against family agriculture by many Senators, but we will not accept defeat, nor will we give up until this unjust tax is terminated. The voices of rural America will not be muted in the slightest, only further incensed!”