House Agriculture chairman opposes Biden’s estate tax plan
Scott’s letter comes nearly a month after 13 Farm District Democrats wrote in May to President Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., And President of Ways and Means Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., to warn that the change in the increased capital gains base could result in taxes longtime family farms could not afford.
Lawmakers, led by House Agriculture Committee members Jim Costa, D-Calif., And Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, have called for “comprehensive exemptions for those family farms and small businesses that are essential to our communities “.
Democrats also made a distinction between the “administrative difficulties” of taxing farm assets and taxing other more easily valued inheritances, such as stocks. The stocks have a clear valuation price and the capital gains are straightforward to administer, they said, adding that farms, machinery and some small businesses can be illiquid and difficult to value.
Selling stocks to pay a tax bill also has less significant consequences than dismembering the land holdings of families who use that land for a living, they said. Farm operations could be made less viable by these changes, lawmakers said.
Biden’s proposal seeks to address some of the concerns about administrative difficulties in valuing inheritances. It offers a deduction for the full cost of the valuation of assets and allows the Treasury to issue safe harbor rules in cases where the complete records necessary to perform an valuation are not available.