The American Farm Bureau Federation has strongly urged Congress to co-sponsor and vote in favor of two basically identical bills that will be introduced in the Senate and House to permanently eliminate death taxes. Eliminating death taxes is a top priority of the AFBF’s farmer and rancher members.

“The taxes imposed on farm and ranch families are completely excessive. Death taxes can be as high as 47 percent, and that forces surviving family members off land that has been their livelihood and the lifeblood of rural communities,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.

“Children have no choice in continuing the family business. They make decisions about leaving the farm prior to a death because they know the business cannot continue once the death taxes are imposed,” Stallman said.

For these reasons, AFBF has sent letters to all members of Congress asking for their support of bills being sponsored by Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Bill Nelson(D-Fla.) in the Senate and Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) and Robert Cramer (D-Ala.) in the House. Both bills would permanently repeal death taxes.

AFBF says increasing the estate tax exemption is not the answer because only repeal can erase the burden and uncertainties of estate tax planning. Farmers and ranchers are forced to pay for expensive estate planning and for large life insurance policies to try and keep the farm from being sold when a death occurs. This is not acceptable or in the long-term interest of the nation.