Time to bury the death tax

By Mike Barnett

I always heard that the only thing sure in life is death and taxes and you can be assured your estate will be taxed to death if it’s big enough when you die.

That’s why a headline in a recent American Farm Bureau Federation news release caught my attention. It noted that estate taxes are ripe for repeal with 218 co-sponsors—more than half of the House of Representatives—on board for legislation to permanently repeal the estate tax.

Not only would Texas Congressman Kevin Brady’s Death Tax Repeal Act, HR 2429, repeal estate taxes, it would maintain stepped-up basis.

Although the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 provided significant estate tax relief, total repeal of this tax is even better.

Farmers and ranchers are rich in capital assets, such as land and equipment, but often poor in liquidity. That’s why the death tax is so onerous. Many times those assets must be sold just to pay the taxes. With those assets go hopes, dreams and the family business.

Dying is bad enough. Being taxed for it is even worse.

It’s time to bury the death tax once and for all.



Mike Barnett

Director of Publications
Texas Farm Bureau
I’m a firm believer that farmers and ranchers will continue to meet the needs of a growing world population by employing equal measures of common sense, conservation and technology.
Follow Mike on Twitter and Facebook.

3 Responses to “Time to bury the death tax”

  1. Alen Robbins says:

    This legislation is way overdue! I see the “Death Tax” as a way to destroy family values and the Family Farm.

  2. selling land just to pay the taxes…that’s what destroys the fabric of this country. The death tax should definitely be repealed, it’s not even a progressive tax anyway, and it actually brings in a very small amount of revenue for the government, compared to income taxes etc.

  3. Beverly Barnes says:

    It is a crying shame, they tax a person when they leave their family homes to the children. Big or small estates, it is WRONG. I worked 42 years to keep my little 2nd rate home and 5 acres. I intend to leave this to my 2 kids. I paid taxes every year to keep it in my homestead as a family retirement place. When the kids inherit it, why should they pay death taxes. They already will need to pay a lawyer and judge to probate the will. Enough is enough. Pass the bill now. Please respect the citizen of Texas.

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