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Cattle Raisers and Sen. Cornyn Support Legislation to Repeal Death Tax

For Immediate Release: March 28, 2012
Contact: Marissa Patton, 512-469-0171

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) and Texas U.S. Senator John Cornyn today announced their strong support for recently introduced legislation that will provide for a permanent repeal of the federal estate tax, commonly referred to as the death tax.

Senator 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 Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), is identical to legislation (H.R. 1259) introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by 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,” said Senator John Cornyn.

“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.

“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 continued.

Not only would S. 2242 repeal the federal estate tax, but it would also repeal 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 December 31, 2012. Currently, estates worth more than $5 million per individual ($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.

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TSCRA is a 135 year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 15,000 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 50,000 individuals directly involved in ranching and beef production who manage 4 million head of cattle on 76 million acres of range and pasture land primarily in Texas and Oklahoma, but throughout the Southwest

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