Chairman Scott urges Biden to shield farmers from financial harm
In a June 2 letter to President Joe Biden, House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-Georgia 13th District) signified support of the historic nature of the American Jobs Plan and American Family Plan, while emphasizing the need to protect farmers, ranchers, and small businesses from financial burden.
“As chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, I applaud the programs in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan as admirable, but the brunt of paying for them cannot be borne by the next generation of farmers taking over the land,” Scott wrote. “Any increase in inheritance tax for those taking over farmland is untenable and will further strain a farm economy that is just now beginning to recover from the strain of the pandemic.”
Chairman Scott pointed out that stepped-up basis is a critical tool enabling family farming operations to continue from generation to generation. The potential for capital gains to be imposed on heirs at death of the landowner would impose a significant financial burden on these operations.
Scott also noted that farmers’ exemptions as proposed in the American Jobs Plan and the American Family Plan would merely delay tax liability until farm assets are sold. One possible consequence of this would be further consolidation in farmland ownership, he said.
“While I appreciate that the proposal provides for some exemptions, the provisions could still result in significant tax burdens on many family farming operations,” Scott wrote. “We must ensure that we protect our family farmers, ranchers and small businesses that keep our rural communities alive.”