Senator Roberts Calls For End to Estate Taxes for Farmers and Ranchers

FORT LEAVENWORTH, KS – August 18, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Pat Roberts has joined Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) in introducing legislation to exempt farmers and ranchers from the estate tax to preserve future generations of family farming.

“I have long sought a permanent repeal of the estate tax, and I continue to support permanent repeal for those affected by this unfair tax,” Senator Roberts said. “This bill is a good first step in that direction. As farms are passed down among the generations, estate taxes have made it increasingly harder to keep the operation in the family,” Senator Roberts said. “This legislation will go a long way to keep our young people farming into the future, preserving our rural way of life and our rural communities.”

The bill, the Family Farm and Ranch Act of 2007, exempts a farmer or rancher from paying the estate tax as long as the following conditions are met:

• In the past eight years before the decedent’s death, the decedent or a family member owned the farm for a cumulative period of at least five years;
• In the past eight years before the decedent’s death, the decedent or a family member must have been actively involved in the management and operation of the farm for a cumulative period of at least five years;
• The decedent or a family member  must be using the land for farming purposes on the date of his death;
• At the time of death, the decedent must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident of the U.S.;
• Either (1) for at least three of the last five taxable years of the decedent’s life, over 50 percent of his or her income was acquired through the business of farming, OR (2) the qualified farmland comprises over 50 percent of the decedent’s adjusted gross estate at the time of death.

To ensure that people do not take advantage of this exemption, this legislation institutes a “recapture tax” in the event that the heir disposes of any interest in the farmland to anyone outside his family, and/or the heir ceases to use the property for farming purposes.

Senator Roberts is a key member of the Senate Committee on Finance and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.   

CONTACT:
Sarah Ross Little or Drew Gonterwitz (202) 224-4774

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