Prospects are good for repeal of the estate tax in a comprehensive tax reform package according to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) , but there could be an offset in the form of a cap on stepped up basis.
"There's a possible compromise that the stepped up basis would be kept for people with an estate value of under $10.8 million," Grassley told AgriTalk Radio host Mike Adams.
Stepped up basis allows generations inheriting an estate to set the new basis value of that estate at current market value without paying additional tax on the gain.
Grassley said he expects a tax reform bill to be on the president's desk by Thanksgiving.
USDA nominees, meanwhile, should expect a quick confirmation in the Senate according to Grassley with the exception of Sam Clovis. USDA deputy secretary nominee Steve Censky and undersecretary for trade and agricultural affairs nominee Ted McKinney will appear before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. Grassley predicted their quick approval. He also said Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey will have smooth sailing in his nomination for USDA Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation. A confirmation hearing for Northey has not yet been set. Nor has a hearing been set for Sam Clovis, the controversial nominee for USDA under secretary for research, education and economics. Grassley told AgriTalk that with Senator Chuck Schumer opposing Clovis' nomination and a long list of agricultural groups voicing support, it will likely come down to a party line vote. When asked if there would be enough Republican votes to approve Clovis, Grassley responded, "There ought to be, but with what happened on health care reform in August and coming up one vote short, I don't what to promise you anything."
Listen to the entire AgriTalk interview with Senator Charles Grassley in the player above.