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Ag Opinion: Estate Tax Inaction Will Hurt Farmers and More

October 22, 2012
By: Nate Birt, Top Producer Deputy Managing Editor google + 

This weekend, columnists called for farmer aid on the estate tax, a reduction in the chemicals used in commercial farming and relief from commodity-swap overregulation.

Click a link below to learn what they said, then share your thoughts on the AgWeb page on Facebook.

Farmers Need Death Tax Relief
By Blake Hurst, Missouri Farm Bureau president (via the Columbia Daily Tribune)

"But the person who owns 1,000 acres will be faced with a prospective tax bill of around $5 million. This is in addition to the thousands of dollars in legal and accounting fees these farmers have already spent to ensure their farm is protected and passes to the next generation. No farm in Missouri, nor anywhere else, has the wherewithal to stand that kind of financial tsunami."

A Simple Fix for Farming
By Mark Bittman, The New York Times online

"It’s becoming clear that we can grow all the food we need, and profitably, with far fewer chemicals. And I’m not talking about imposing some utopian vision of small organic farms on the world. Conventional agriculture can shed much of its chemical use — if it wants to."

Another View: Dodd-Frank Might Snare Agriculture
By Don Coursey, DesMoinesRegister.com

"The over-the-counter agriculture swap market has been running safely and efficiently for years without mandatory middlemen. No one — not even the regulators charged with implementing Dodd-Frank — claims otherwise."

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COMMENTS (2 Comments)

swmnag - Marshall, MN
Let's start with the first one...a complete repeal of the estate tax law is a tragic and flawed concept. I think most people would agree that money makes money, and with 90% of the wealth already concentrated into the hands of few, an estate tax is warranted. However, I support President Obama's plan of raising the limit to $7 million per estate. That eliminates all but a small number of farms. I choose not to comment on the second article. Third, I think SWAPS are a terrible idea. Banks push these things because they are huge, and I mean huge revenue generators. Most farm operations that use swaps have a basis of understanding of them, but not entirely. It is much safer to use hedges in the form of futures or options. There isn't a huge need for swaps, because there is already a market for those products. The swaps are just another avenue for banks or financial institutions to make money.​
1:42 PM Oct 22nd
 
swmnag - Marshall, MN
Let's start with the first one...a complete repeal of the estate tax law is a tragic and flawed concept. I think most people would agree that money makes money, and with 90% of the wealth already concentrated into the hands of few, an estate tax is warranted. However, I support President Obama's plan of raising the limit to $7 million per estate. That eliminates all but a small number of farms. I choose not to comment on the second article. Third, I think SWAPS are a terrible idea. Banks push these things because they are huge, and I mean huge revenue generators. Most farm operations that use swaps have a basis of understanding of them, but not entirely. It is much safer to use hedges in the form of futures or options. There isn't a huge need for swaps, because there is already a market for those products. The swaps are just another avenue for banks or financial institutions to make money.​
1:42 PM Oct 22nd
 



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