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GFB Writes Congressmen Urging Estate Tax Reform


By: GFB News
11/8/2012 10:25:49 AM


With the federal estate tax scheduled to revert to a $1 million exemption and a top tax rate of 55 percent on Jan. 1, 2013, Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall wrote members of Georgia's congressional delegation asking for estate tax reform when they return to Washington on Nov. 13 for a lame-duck session.

The current estate tax has a $5 million per person exemption and a top tax rate of 35 percent. Duvall said GFB supports a repeal of the federal estate tax, but in the absence of that action he voiced support for retention of the current $5 million exemption and top tax rate of 35 percent.

"We urge you to take action to prevent this costly and unfair tax increase before it causes irreparable harm to farm families in Georgia," Duvall wrote.

Duvall pointed out that roughly 85 percent of farm assets are in the form of real estate, and while estate planning offers some protection, funds spent to implement it could be better utilized in addressing operational costs on the farm.

In addition to the GFB recommendations on the estate tax structure, Duvall noted that because of the frequent changes in estate tax law, farmers have been denied certainty in their estate planning strategy. To address this, he also asked for the implementation of a permanent solution indexed for inflation.


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