The National Pork Producers Council joined numerous agriculture groups this week in signing a letter in support of legislation recently introduced by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) that will help family-owned agricultural businesses. The bill would facilitate the transition of farms to the next generation by allowing more land to be appraised on its agricultural value rather than its development value for estate tax purposes.
"The farming and ranching sector is dominated by family-owned businesses that in the best of financial times can struggle to survive the death of a family member and business partner," explained the letter in support of H.R. 5259.
The Preserving Family Farms Act of 2019 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the limitation on the estate tax valuation of certain real property used in farming or other trades or businesses.
"Estate taxes, especially if based on inflated land values, can add to the pressures that push a family to sell agricultural land and fragment businesses. The negative ramifications of these actions extend well beyond the harm caused to farm and ranch businesses, impacting the ancillary businesses and rural communities where agriculture is a primary economic driver. When this land is lost to development, agriculture loses its base for production forever," wrote the groups in a letter sent Wednesday to the two lawmakers.
Upon introducing the bill, Walorski said, "Hoosier family farmers are the backbone of our economy and the food they produce feeds the world. I introduced a bipartisan bill to provide a much needed update to the estate tax to help our farmers keep more of their hard-earned dollars and to protect family-owned businesses from the burden of this harmful tax."