Congress takes up Death Tax

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee held a hearing on the Burden of the Estate Tax on Family Businesses and Farms. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association member and seventh-generation cattleman from Fort Davis, Texas, Bobby McKnight testified before the subcommittee on how the death tax affects cattle producers.

“Many farm and ranch families are asset-rich and cash-poor, with most of the value of their estate attributed to the value of the land they use to raise cattle and grow food and fiber for consumers around the world,” said McKnight. “Strong export demand has been one of the driving forces in the increase in value of crop and pasture land in almost every state, not to mention the pressure from commercial development. Combined together, the increase in the value of farmland has many farm and ranch families concerned that they may trigger the estate tax simply through increasing land values.”

McKnight was able to share his family’s personal story of facing the death tax, and the consequences to their livelihood and operation in southwest Texas.

“When times have been lean, I have had to make sacrifices to keep my business above water, but sometimes you run out of places to cut,” said McKnight. “That is what happened to my family during hard times brought on by the estate tax. I had to let go of seasoned employees that had families of their own and were forced to work elsewhere. The skilled labor that I needed to run my operation was lost.”

NCBA calls for the immediate repeal of the death tax.

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