The House voted late Tuesday night to avoid the fiscal cliff with an extension of many tax breaks and taxing on the wealthy, as well as a nine-month extension of the 2008 Farm Bill.
The vote went through 257-167 just before adjournment of the 112th Congress. The legislation now heads to President Obama for approval.
According to reports from The Hill, the bill will extend marginal tax rates on family income up to $450,000, and lift capital gains rates to 20%. The bill also delays automatic spending cuts for two months, and will renew tax credits for low-income households.
For the agriculture industry, hot topics surrounding the farm bill and fiscal cliff measures included estate tax and milk price concerns, crop insurance reform and renewable energy policies.
Included in the fiscal cliff deal was long-awaited action on estate taxes. Now, estates will be taxed at a top rate of 40% with the first $5 million in value exempted for individual estates and $10 million for family estates. This is contrary to the 2012 top rate of 35%, but less than the proposed $4 million per couple and maximum taxable rate topping out at 55%.