Alexah Rogge 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fulcher has cosponsored H.R. 1712 The Death Tax Repeal Act, introduced by Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA). This bipartisan bill would protect family-owned ranches, farms, and businesses by repealing the death tax (also known as the “estate tax”) in its entirety.

It is expected that more than 40% of farmland will transition away in the next two decades, and it is pertinent that policies support land transfers to the next generation of farmers and ranchers. Farms with assets above the estate tax exemption often must dissolve assets to meet estate tax obligations, threatening the survivability of family-owned businesses. 

“While farms are a valuable asset, they are not particularly liquid,” said Congressman Fulcher. Future generations of family-farms in Idaho, after losing many of their resources to this destructive tax, lose their “economies of scale” and become uncompetitive.  Rural families should not be punished for their family’s success, and I urge my colleagues in urban settings to take a moment to consider this detrimental impact.”

In a press release from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, President Jerry Bohn commented, “The estate tax disproportionately harms cattle producers because with few options to pay off tax liabilities, many farm and ranch families are forced to make tough choices at the time of death – and in worst-case scenarios, must sell off land to meet their federal tax burden. As small business owners, environmental stewards, and the economic backbone of rural communities across the country, U.S. cattle producers understand and appreciate the role of taxes in maintaining and improving our nation. However, they also believe that the most effective tax code is an equitable one. For this reason, NCBA ardently supports the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2021.”   

In 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law, increasing the death tax exemption for family-owned businesses from $5.5 to $11 million. Since becoming the majority in the House, Democrats have signaled intentions to undo this increased exemption.

H.R. 1712 currently has 127 cosponsors, 121 of those are original from H.R. 218. Read the full bill here.