News Releases

Date: 11/4/2009

Title: NCBA Member Testifies During Congressional Estate Tax Hearing

WASHINGTON –Arthur Uhl, member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and chairman of NCBA’s Tax and Credit Committee, testified today during a U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee hearing on the estate tax. Uhl, a rancher, cattle producer and attorney from San Antonio, Texas, highlighted the need for swift reform of this burdensome tax—considered one of the leading causes of the breakup of multi-generation family farms and ranches.

“At the end of the day, all we really want is to keep our farms and ranches in production,” said Uhl. “This is not a tax cut for the rich. This is money that America’s farmers and ranchers need to re-invest in order to grow the family business and hand it down to future generations.”

The following is an excerpt from Uhl’s testimony:

“The estate tax is fundamentally unfair, inefficient, economically stifling and particularly devastating to our business, which requires very highly valued assets to produce minimal economic returns. Cattle producers understand and appreciate the role of taxes in maintaining and improving our nation, but they also believe that the most effective tax code is a fair one. NCBA members fundamentally disagree with the taxing of assets that have already been taxed, sometimes two and three times over. In the eyes of American farmers and ranchers, death should not be a taxable event for either the estate or its heirs.

“The current onerous estate tax system is also at odds with our important national goals of preserving natural resources and open space. Family farms and ranches provide an abundant and necessary source of food and fiber to feed the growing global population, as well as Americans right here at home. Not only are they producing nutritious food, America’s farmers and ranchers are taking care of the land, air, and water that make our way of life possible. The Death tax breaks up farm and ranch land and displaces family generational farms and ranches, expediting their conversion to strip malls and condo complexes and doing a great disserve to the American public and the rural way of life.

“Our members recognize full repeal is not an option at this time, so we are simply asking Congress to reform the estate tax to give some relief and certainty to dedicated farming and ranching families who continue to work and preserve the land.”

Farmers, ranchers and small businesses deserve more than just a simple extension of current law.

NCBA is calling for additional estate tax relief on top of the current 2009 law, as well as an agriculture exemption.



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