FULL ESTATE TAX REPEAL APPROVED IN THE U.S. HOUSE


     The U.S. House voted yesterday (4/16) for a full repeal of the federal estate tax. All five House members from Kansas were among those voting for the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015. The final vote count was 240 to 179.
     NCBA President Philip Ellis said the estate tax, commonly called the death tax, is a punitive tax on farmers and ranchers that is inaccurately framed as a tax on the rich. The Wyoming rancher said all too often at the time of death, ranching families are forced to sell land, farm equipment, parts of the operation or take out loans to pay off the tax liabilities and attorney’s fees.
     “The estate tax is a disservice to agriculture because we are a land-based, capital-intensive industry short of funds and with few options for paying estate taxes when they come due,” he said.
     Ellis urged the U.S. Senate to vote for a full repeal of the death tax soon.
     At the end of 2012, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which provides a permanent exemption from the estate tax of $5 million per individual, $10 million per couple and raised the top tax rate to 40%. While the legislation provides some relief for farmers and ranchers, Ellis said the underlying problem of taxing estates at death needs to be addressed.

KLA Communications Program Manager Scarlett Hagins says a couple hundred health professionals will be reached by the Kansas Beef Council during two meetings being held this month.