Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Agriculture and Tax Reform

Credit: stevepb / CC0 

Issue Overview

Running a farm or ranch business is challenging under the best of circumstances. Agriculture operates in a world of uncertainty—from unpredictable markets to fluctuating farm business costs, to weather disasters and disease outbreaks. Farmers and ranchers need a tax code that provides certainty and recognizes their unique financial challenges as they work to provide a secure food supply for our nation.

While important strides, such as the 2017 passage of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, have been made in recent years, Farm Bureau supports a number of changes to help provide stability and security for America's farms and ranches.

AFBF Policy

While important strides, such as the 2017 passage of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, have been made in recent years, Farm Bureau supports a number of changes to help provide stability and security for America's farms and ranches.

  • Estate taxes should be permanently eliminated. At the very least, Farm Bureau believes that the $11 million per person/$22 million per couple indexed estate tax exemption that was passed as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act should be made permanent and that unlimited stepped-up basis should continue.
  • The limitation on the amount that property values can be reduced under Special Use Valuation Section 2032A should be removed. Timber harvesting or the sale of a conservation easement should not trigger a recapture of estate taxes.
  • The capital gains tax rate should be reduced and assets should be indexed for inflation.

  • Capital gains should not be collected at death and there should be an exclusion for agricultural land that remains in production, for transfers of farm business assets between family members, for farmland preservation easements and development rights, and for land taken by eminent domain.

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