"When estate taxes on an agricultural business exceed cash and other liquid assets, surviving family partners may be forced to sell land, buildings or equipment needed to keep their businesses running," he said. "This not only can cripple a farm or ranch operation, but also hurts the rural communities and businesses that agriculture supports."
AFBF said 85% of farm assets are illiquid, causing producers to have few options in coming up with enough cash to pay estate taxes.
Both the NCBA and AFBF also said that recent increases in agriculture cropland values, on average 15% from 2011 to 2012, have greatly expanded the number of farms and ranches that now top the estate tax exemption.
Thune, Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and member of the Senate Finance Committee, said more than 70% of family businesses do not survive to the second generation, and 90% of family businesses do not survive to the third generation.
Thune’s bill is cosponsored in the Senate by Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; John Boozman, R-Ark.; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; Dan Coats, R-Ind.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; Deb Fischer, R-Neb.; Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Dean Heller, R-Nev.; Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Mike Johanns, R-Neb.; Mark Kirk, R-Ill.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; Jim Risch, R-Idaho; Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Tim Scott, R-S.C.; Richard Shelby, R-Ala.; Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; and David Vitter, R-La.).
Brady’s bill is cosponsored in the House of Representatives by Reps. John Duncan, Jr., R-Tenn.; Jim Gerlach, R-Pa.; Tim Griffin, R-Ark.; Bill Johnson, R-Ohio; Sam Johnson, R-Texas; Kenny Marchant, R-Texas; Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.; David McKinley, R-W.Va.; Kristi Noem, R-S.D.; Devin Nunes, R-Calif.; and Austin Scott, R-Ga.