Death and taxes: The impact of death-tax planning on ranchers
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has released the second video in its month-long media campaign to promote comprehensive tax reform. The first video, which was posted on Sept. 7, was viewed more than 109,000 times on Facebook and reached more than 200,000 people.
NCBA’s second video in the campaign features Jay Wolf, a third-generation Nebraska rancher, who discusses the time, energy, and financial cost he’s forced to spend on estate planning due to the death tax.
“You’d think in operating a business like this, the most important decisions would be strategic decisions about buying or selling cattle or buying and selling land,” Wolf says while sitting in his pickup truck surrounded by his cattle. “Instead the most important decisions I’ve made have been estate-planning decisions, and they have impacted our ability to maintain our operation more than anything else – and that doesn’t really seem right.”
story continues after video
Wolf also discussed how the death tax is fundamentally unfair and burdensome because it forces family ranchers to pay tax and estate-planning costs in cash based upon an appraised value of their land, which they’ve already paid property taxes on for decades.
“The value of the land has changed dramatically, especially in the last few years,” Wolf explained. “Now our income hasn’t necessarily changed… and it becomes difficult to face a tax on something like that. It’s not a cash asset but if you’ve got a big estate tax on it, it’s out of proportion to its earning ability, and it can be just devastating.”
NCBA last week kicked off the media and advertising campaign that is shining a spotlight on how various federal tax provisions impact America’s cattle and beef producers, particularly the death tax, and is building support in Washington for comprehensive tax reform that will make the tax code more fair for producers. The campaign is centered around a new website, CattlemenForTaxReform.com, and will run through September.
Over the coming weeks, NCBA will roll out several other promoted videos and infographics on social media that will feature profiles of ranchers and other members of the cattle-production community and their priorities for tax reform. The campaign will also connect grassroots ranchers and producers with their elected officials on Capitol Hill as tax-reform legislation is considered this autumn.