Eliminating Family Farms IS NOT Infrastructure

July 26, 2021

Dear Friend,

Just a few months ago, I wrote about how eliminating the stepped-up basis would devastate family farms. Long story short, it would slam the next generation of farmers with a massive tax bill when their parents pass away, and they inherit the family farm. Because most farmers are land rich and cash poor, it would undoubtedly force many to sell the farm or parts of it just to pay the tax bill.

That’s wrong and it shouldn’t be in what the liberals in Washington are calling their “infrastructure” bill. At the time, we were told that the Administration understood how devastating eliminating the stepped-up basis would be for family farms and small businesses. We were told they were going to fix their bill so that 98 percent of farms wouldn’t have to pay their new death tax.

The USDA says that number came from “estimates,” but we still don’t have any idea how they came to it. They won’t tell us. What we do know, is that a study by Texas A&M Agricultural Food Policy Center determined that 98 percent of farms in its 30-state database WOULD be impacted by eliminating the stepped-up basis. On average, those farms would owe an additional tax liability totaling $726,104 per farm.

That’s more than enough to break most farmers. Even the loophole liberals tried to create wouldn’t let farmers and small business owners dodge that bill, it would just kick the can down the road, forcing someone to pay the piper someday. The bottom line is that this provision seems tailor-made for killing the family farm.

Certainly, many small family businesses would be impacted, but as President John F. Kennedy once said, “the farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.” Add into that skyrocketing land values and you get the perfect recipe for poisoning the well of the family farm.

Like I said earlier, farmers are land rich and cash poor. That means most aren’t going to have the cash to foot the bill when the death tax collector comes knocking on their door. It’s going to force them to sell and for an unlucky few, those sales are going to happen on the courthouse steps.

It makes me sick just thinking about how devastating this would be for farm families. The elimination of the stepped-up basis could very well mean the elimination of the family farm. Eliminating family farms IS NOT infrastructure and it certainly shouldn’t be included in any so-called “infrastructure” bill.


Sam Graves