Final passage of legislation extending current tax laws will benefit family farmers and ranchers—and give them time to seek longer-term reforms, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation.
“The tax package is critical to promote growth in the economy. That benefits everyone, including farmers and ranchers,” CFBF President Paul Wenger said, “and parts of the package will be especially critical on the farm.”
Wenger pointed to extension of tax rules for capital gains, gifts, income and small businesses. In particular, he said, family farmers and ranchers will benefit from revised rules regarding the federal estate tax.
“The estate tax forces farming families to take extensive and expensive actions to avoid having their farms broken apart when a family member dies,” he said. “Even then, farmers are often forced to sell land and other assets to pay estate taxes. That’s particularly true in California, where land values are so high. The tax package gives farm and ranch families two more years of certainty, but they still need a longer-term solution.”
Farm organizations including CFBF have co-sponsored legislation by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, that would defer estate taxes on family farm property as long as the farm remains in operation and stays in the family.
“We will continue to fight for this reform,” Wenger said, “which will assure that farms and ranches can remain family businesses. The two-year extension that Congress just approved will pass quickly. We won’t rest until family farmers and ranchers have permanent relief from the burdens of the estate tax.”
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of approximately 76,500 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 6.3 million Farm Bureau members.