Farmers and ranchers are disproportionately impacted by estate taxes due to the value of farmland, making it difficult to continue a family business after the death of a loved one.
Rep. Jason Smith and Rep. Sanford Bishop have introduced H.R. 1712, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2021. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 temporarily doubled the estate tax exemption from $5.5 million to $11 million per person. If this exemption were to be reduced it would be devasting to maintaining family farms, impacting almost a third of all agricultural land in Wisconsin. H.R. 1712 would eliminate the estate tax, giving certainty when a death happens and allowing Wisconsin family farms to plan for the future. It’s important to TAKE ACTION NOW to keep Wisconsin farming!
American Farm Bureau also has information on this topic. Click here to access their information.
Contact Your Legislators:
This bill has been introduced on the federal level. To find your federal legislators, enter your home address in the govtrack tool.
Please take a few minutes to send an email or make a phone call to the elected officials that represent you. You can use this email template to get started, feel free to add your personal story to help legislators understand how this will negatively impact Wisconsin farmers.
Dear Rep./Sen. xxx,
I am a constituent of yours and I am writing today to ask that you support H.R. 1712 and S. 617, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2021. Farmers are disproportionately impacted by estate taxes due to the value of farmland, making it difficult to continue a family business after the death of a loved one.
As a farmer in Wisconsin, I have seen the devasting impact 2020 has had on family farms. Data indicates that Wisconsin led the country in Chapter 12 bankruptcies which increased consolidation within the industry. Census information shows those that remain have an average age of 57 years old, about the age when succession plans begin to form. H.R. 1712 and S. 617 would eliminate the estate tax and give family farms the certainty to plan for the future. If congress fails to pass H.R. 1712 or S. 617 and the estate tax exemption is allowed to go from $11 million to $5.5 million, 32% of all Wisconsin agricultural land would be subject to estate taxes when the property is transferred following a death. This would hit farmers as they try to hand their farms down to the next generation, leaving family members the choice of paying extremely high taxes or giving up the family farm.
I want to encourage you to support H.R. 1712 and S. 617. At a time when we should be encouraging families to pass their farms down to the next generation, this legislation will help make that a reality. I hope you join me in supporting H.R. 1712 and S. 617 and keep Wisconsin farming.
WFBF has created these talking points for you to reference when talking with elected officials.
Contact information for each of the members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation.