County farmers, ranchers seeking help from Congress
Oct 28, 2012 | 2421 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Farm and ranch families in Goliad County are calling for help from Washington legislators to help preserve their family farms by establishing permanent estate tax reform during the lame duck session.

“Estate taxes can be devastating to a family business, including farms and ranches that have been handed down for generations,” said Pat Calhoun, president of Goliad County Farm Bureau.

The estate tax requires families to pay taxes on land and assets owned by a family member when that family member passes away. Currently, the estate tax exemption is set at $5 million in assets, and assets above the exemption are taxed at a 35 percent top rate.

“If Congress doesn’t act on estate taxes before the end of the year, the estate tax exemption will drop to $1 million and the top rate will increase to 55 percent,” Calhoun said. “Farmers and ranchers are asset rich and cash poor, and those changes could really devastate our family farms as they’re already experiencing the loss of a loved one.”

Farm Bureau supports a lower estate tax top rate and higher exemption, as well as a permanent extension of the 15 percent capital gains tax. The capital gains tax is set to increase from 15 to 20 percent, if Congress does not take action before the end of the year.
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