If President Barack Obama and Congress don't come to an agreement to head off the so-called "Fiscal Cliff" of automatic tax increases and spending cuts by the end of the year, farmers could be impacted.
One of the tax provisions that will expire is the inheritance tax. Right now, there's a $5-million exemption which covers most farms and ranches, but if the cuts were to expire, the exemption would drop to $1-million. Tax rates on property above that among jump to 55%
Iowa Senator Charles Grassley says he will fight to leave the inheritance tax exemption at $5-million to help keep family farms in the family.
"Farmers have been expanding their farming operation to be efficient farmers, and you have to sell half the farm to pay the estate taxes it's going to be very difficult to pass it on from one generation to the other and have a full-time farming operation. You could have more part-time farmers, but farmers want to farm full-time, not part-time," said the Republican.
Grassley says at least six Democrats agree the inheritance tax exemption should be left at $5-million. He says he believes they can win the battle if they can ever get the issue brought up for debate.
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