Farm Bureau Approves Full Estate Tax Repeal Compromise

If Congress is unable to achieve a full repeal of the estate tax, members are willing to support a $10 million exemption. Jacqui Fatka

Published on: Jan 12, 2006

A long-time push for the end of the estate tax, also known as the "death tax" in farm country, is being reevaluated.

American Farm Bureau Federation policy adopted by its delegates this week support raising the exemption for estates to $10 million, indexed to inflation, from the current $2 million if a full repeal isn't possible.  

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., (pictured at the right) told attendees at AFBF's convention this week that the estate tax "punishes achievement and inheritance" and goes against the American way of life. In a press conference he shared how the inheritance tax directly affected one of his own family members because of the inability to pay taxes on the land.

In 2005, the full repeal of the estate tax seemed highly probable. But with rising deficits and hurricane needs, full repeal looks less likely. Members of Congress had been pressing key agricultural organizations to determine what compromise level is acceptable.

Frist says sometime in this Congressional session he'll take the elimination to the floor. It takes 60 votes to prevent a filibuster in the Senate.