Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Graves: Elimination of death tax will save the family farm
A famous quote says, “There’s nothing certain in life except death and taxes.”
It’s ironic and infuriating then that the government taxes your death. It’s known as the “Death Tax” or the “Estate Tax” or the “Inheritance Tax” and it applies to anything you might hope to pass on such as money, equipment, or land to your loved ones. No matter what you call it, a tax that kicks in when you die is absurd. It’s not the government’s money to begin with!
Farmers are hit especially hard by the death tax. After a lifetime of acquiring land and equipment to help provide food for the world, farmers are subjected to an additional tax on their estate when they die. The real effect of this double, and sometimes triple, taxation is felt by the late farmer’s family.
While many folks receive an inheritance in the form of a check or stocks and bonds, the family farmer passes on his life’s work and ensures that farming continues as a way of life in North Missouri and around the country.
It’s no wonder that our kids and grandkids aren’t choosing to farm when they grow up. It’s expensive enough to get a farming operation off the ground, much less keep it in the family after giving part of it to the government.
I believe your death shouldn’t be a taxable event. Farmers shouldn’t work all of their life, saving and paying taxes, just to have the government show up with another bill for them and their family when they die.
That’s why a crucial part of tax reform is getting rid of the death tax. We’ve been able to increase the amount exempted from the tax in the past but that’s not enough. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will provide immediate relief from the death tax by doubling the earnings exemption with a full elimination of the tax after six years.
As a sixth-generation family farmer and small businessman, I know firsthand the importance of tax reform. Meaningful tax reform must benefit rural Missourians and our plan does just that. We’ve waited more than 30 years; it’s time for a tax system that benefits everyone.