Twenty-nine national agricultural organizations, including the American Sheep Industry Association, came together to ask for the support of Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), U.S. Senate majority leader and minority leader, respectively, in passing permanent and meaningful estate tax relief legislation.
These groups, representing family farmers, ranchers and growers who provide the food and fiber for our nation as well as for people around the world, support permanently raising the estate tax exemption to no less than $5 million per person and reducing the top rate to no more than 35 percent. It is also imperative that the exemption be indexed to inflation, provide for spousal transfers and include the stepped-up basis.
Family farmers and ranchers not only care for the nation's rural lands but are also small businessmen. The current state of the economy, coupled with the uncertain nature of estate tax liabilities, makes it difficult for these entrepreneurs to make sound business decisions.
"We respectfully request your leadership in reforming current estate tax laws to strengthen the business climate for family farmers, ranchers and growers while ensuring agricultural businesses are passed on to future generations," concluded the signing organizations.