A Newly Formed Nonprofit Group, Formed In Nebraska, Opposes Proposed New Federal Tax Increases Which Would Hurt Farms And Other Businesses Nationwide.
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Published May 20, 2021
By David Beasley [The Center Square contributor] –
A nonprofit group has formed in Nebraska to oppose proposed new federal tax increases, which members say would hurt farms and other businesses.
“As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, America and Nebraska especially are well-positioned to achieve economic growth,” the group Nebraskans for Tax Truth says on its website. “However, current Washington, D.C. tax proposals threaten to stop this progress in its tracks, saddling our agricultural producers and job creators with additional burdens just as recovery is in sight.”
The Nebraska Farm Bureau is one of the groups joining the anti-tax hike coalition.
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One of the big concerns for farmers is President Biden’s proposal to eliminate the “basis step-up” provision in federal tax law that allows heirs to pay lower capital gains taxes on property that has been held by their family for many years, Nebraska Farm Bureau president Mark McHargue told the Center Square.
“My father is 85,” McHargue said. “He purchased his land certainly at a lower price. At his death, if that basis is not stepped up, we are liable for capital gains tax on several thousand dollars an acre.”
The tax increase would force many heirs to sell farms that have been in their families for generations, McHargue said.
Absentee landowners would also hurt the fabric of rural communities, he said.
“For rural communities, we need people,” McHargue said. “Agriculture is a business. Anytime you have a business being controlled by an outside entity, there are not as many dollars or as many people involved in the community.”
Raising corporate income taxes would also hurt farmers, many of whom operate as corporations, McHargue said.
The “tax the rich” approach favored by Biden is misguided when it comes to farmers, he said.
“We have assets,” he said. “But if we have to sell them off to pay the taxes, that doesn’t do anybody any good.”