Cattle Raisers and Cornyn support legislation to repeal death tax

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) and Texas Sen. John Cornyn Wednesday announced their strong support for recently-introduced legislation that would provide for a permanent repeal of the federal estate tax, commonly referred to as the death tax.

Cornyn is a co-sponsor of the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act, S. 2242, which would stop the federal government from considering death as a taxable event. S. 2242, introduced by U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., is identical to legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

“The death tax hurts family farmers and ranchers across Texas at the worst time possible, and in many cases Texans are forced to sell the family farm or ranch just to pay this tax. It’s time to put common sense above Washington greed and get rid of the death tax once and for all,” Cornyn said.

“Many ranching families have spent decades building cattle operations that help feed the nation. Unfortunately, when it comes time to pass that operation on to the next generation the federal government wants a tax payment. If a rancher cannot pay, then they lose their land and their way of life. Ranching families deserve better and the death tax needs to be taken off the books for good,” said TSCRA President Joe Parker Jr, Byers.

“The permanent repeal of the death tax is a priority for TSCRA and we strongly support the efforts of Senators Cornyn and Thune. We appreciate their leadership in the U.S. Senate on this issue which is critical to the future of the cattle industry,” Parker stated.

S. 2242 would repeal the federal estate tax and the generation skipping transfer (GST) tax; make permanent the maximum 35 percent gift tax rate and a $5 million lifetime gift tax exemption; and maintain the stepped-up basis provisions important to ranching families.

In December 2010, Congress passed temporary estate tax relief effective through Dec. 31, 2012. Currently, estates worth more than $5 million per individual, or $10 million per couple, are taxed at a rate of 35 percent. Unless Congress acts, the estate tax will revert to pre-2001 levels where estates worth more than $1 million will be taxed at a rate of 55 percent.