Cattle Raisers wrap up trip to Washington, D.C.

Members of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) gathered in Washington, D.C., this week to meet with members of Congress and regulatory officials to discuss issues critical to the cattle industry. The meetings concluded Thursday and were in conjunction with a legislative conference hosted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

The most critical federal issue facing ranchers this year is the estate tax, commonly referred to as the death tax. If Congress does not act on the estate tax by the end of the year, estates worth more than $1 million will be taxed at a rate of 55 percent. This devastating tax increase could put many family ranches out of business.

“Generations of families have worked hard to leave something more for the generations that come after them. The federal government should not tax the next generation for inheriting what is rightfully theirs,” said  TSCRA President Joe Parker Jr., Byers.

“Death should not be a taxable event, which is why TSCRA supports a full and permanent repeal of the estate tax and is working with members of Congress to get that done,” Parker said.

In December of 2010, Congress passed new exemption and tax provisions that allow for estates valued at $5 million per person- or $10 million per couple- and kess to be passed to the next generation tax free. Any amount over that exemption level would be taxed at a rate of 35 percent. If Congress fails to repeal the estate tax altogether, or at the very least make the current provisions permanent, on Jan. 1, 2013, families will be forced to deal with a $1 million per person exemption and a 55 percent tax rate.

Other issues of concern to TSCRA include the farm bill; regulations that would expand federal control of water and child labor; increasing truck weights; limiting the use of antibiotics in the livestock industry; and frivolous lawsuits involving endangered species.