The Ag Minute: Democratic Leadership's Delay on Estate Tax Jeopardizes the Livelihoods of American Farmers

Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184

WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, Ranking Member Frank Lucas discusses how the Democratic leadership in Congress has failed to address the critical issue of estate taxes. As a result, our next generation of farmers and ranchers do not know how much they will owe in taxes this year and cannot effectively plan for 2011.

Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.

"Farmers and ranchers across America are facing yet another burden because of the Democratic leadership in Congress. 

"This Congress has failed to address the critical issue of estate taxes and as a result it’s creating uncertainty for our agricultural producers.

"Families own 97 percent of the commercial farms in America.  Right now those families are faced with a tax structure that could take away more than half of the farm that took generations to build.  

"Unless Congress acts, families will have to write a check to the government for 55 percent of their taxable estate.  A forced sale of farmland to pay tax bills would be a tragedy and a consequence of the Democratic Majority’s failure to address this issue.

"Congress should seek to secure the future of rural America, and ensure our farmers and ranchers can continue to produce the safest, most affordable, and most abundant food, fiber, and fuel supply in the world.

"Imposing massive taxes on the incoming generation of farmers and ranchers is the wrong approach." 

The Ag Minute is Ranking Member Lucas's weekly radio address that is released each Tuesday from the House Agriculture Committee Republicans.