In a letter to President Obama, 31 national and regional agriculture organizations, including the American Sheep Industry Association, asked for the President's support for permanent and meaningful estate tax relief.
"If estate taxes are allowed to be reinstated at the beginning of 2011 with only a $1 million exemption and a top rate of 55 percent, the negative impact on family farmers and ranchers will be significant," stated the groups. "We support permanently raising the 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."
"We respectfully request your leadership in reforming current estate tax laws before the end of this year. This action will strengthen the business climate for farm and ranch families while ensuring agricultural businesses can be passed to future generations. Allowing estate taxes to be reinstated without an exemption and rate that protects family farms puts many operations at risk and threatens succession to the next generation of farmers," concluded the organizations.