Boots & Sabers

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2043, 14 Oct 16

Return of the Living Death Tax

Despite what the media has decided are the important stories for this election, there are some real issues out there that have a real impact on real families.

Likewise, interpretations of regulations by the IRS can change, leading to additional tax liability for family farms. Most recently, the IRS has proposed changes to the estate tax regulations regarding the valuation of business assets. The American Farm Bureau Federation has cautioned that this change may result in family farms seeing an increase in estate tax liability, and has urged members to contact their congressional leaders to support proposed legislation prohibiting the change.

Despite favorable provisions, the death of the family’s patriarch or matriarch may still result in a family farm being divided up and sold off to pay the taxes. Farmers are usually considered cash poor, because their money is tied up in assets, especially land. When the value of a deceased’s estate goes over the exempted amount, the hefty tax has to be paid whether the estate actually has the cash to do so. Many times, that means farmland, equipment, or buildings have to be sold to pay Uncle Sam. For children that wanted to keep farming, this scenario could dash their dreams.


In an election that has been filled with the scandalous and salacious, there is hardly room for estate tax discussion on the campaign trail. For family farmers though, the very real possibility that it could result in their farm being divided up and sold upon their death makes this issue extremely important and relevant. There are many issues that voters should take into consideration when making their choice on Election Day, but the future of the estate tax should definitely be one of them.



2043, 14 October 2016


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    More hurtful liberal policy.


  2. Le Roi du Nord

    What isn’t mentioned is that ag land is taxed at a fraction of what other rural land is taxed.  In my township ag land is taxed at ~33% of what rural residential/recreational land is taxed.  You can hear Wisconsin Farm Bureau bellow all day about unfair regulation of farmers, but they have the sweetest tax deal in the state.

    And you would be a poor farm manager indeed if you didn’t have your operation in a trust or similar to avoid any inheritance or “death tax” .

  3. Owen

    Actually, it is if you actually read the whole story.

  4. Le Roi du Nord

    I did, and know that, but both you and Kevin omitted that in your comments.

  5. Kevin Scheunemann


    Omitted what ?

    That one has to jump through an extensive amount of elaborate & expensive legal hoops to avoid the liberal death tax machine?

    Here’s a thought, how about curbing liberal greed instead?

  6. Le Roi du Nord

    What “extensive amount of elaborate & expensive legal hoops”, are you talking about?  Any business with assets of sufficient size to fall under the “death tax” would have some trust document or similar in place regardless, to protect both the owners and heirs.  Taking your silly pills again?

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