Ten major agricultural organizations will gear up for the continuation of the lame duck session with a press conference next Tuesday to stress the importance of meaningful estate tax reform.
The event is scheduled for 1 p.m. in the Zenger Room at the National Press Club in Washington. Reporters unable to be in town for the event can call to participate at 1-888-220-9614 or watch live, streaming video at www.beltwaybeef.com, the blog of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the group organizing the event.
Participants scheduled to be at the conference are from NAWG; American Farm Bureau Federation; American Soybean Association; National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; National Corn Growers Association; National Cotton Council; National Farmers Union; National Milk Producers Federation; National Pork Producers Council; and Public Lands Council.
Each speaker will outline the importance of the issue to his or her particular segment of the industry, followed by plenty of time for questions.
Agricultural groups have expressed concerns for many years about the unpredictable nature of the estate tax, which disproportionately affects farm families with land as their primary assets. Multigenerational families are the foundation of agricultural communities, with 96 percent of farms in the U.S. run by families.
These concerns have increased in the past year because existing law provides for no estate tax at all in 2010, but taxes on estates over $1 million at up to 55 percent come Jan. 1.
Many of the groups scheduled to participate in the press event next week signed on to a letter sent to Congress earlier in the month supporting 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. Those groups also supported provisions to index the tax to inflation, provide for spousal transfers and include a stepped-up basis.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) have put forth a legislative proposal that follows these guidelines.
For questions about the press conference or to set up an interview with a NAWG officer on this issue, please contact Melissa Kessler in the NAWG office at mkessler (at) wheatworld.org.