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Republican Ag Committee Members Call on USDA to Release Details on Impact of Proposed Tax Increases

Ranking Member Boozman leads letter requesting evidence to support claim that only two percent of farm estates will be impacted

WASHINGTON—Republican members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry are calling on U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to make public a detailed explanation and any supporting economic analyses that clarifies how the Biden administration’s proposed tax increases will affect farm estates.

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), the committee’s ranking member, authored a letter to Secretary Vilsack that questions the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) analysis of President Joe Biden’s proposed changes in capital gains tax rates and the modification to stepped-up basis on America’s family farms and ranches.

The letter, which was signed by seven other Republican senators who serve on the committee, specifically asks the secretary to explain of how USDA arrived at the conclusion 98 percent of farm estates will not be impacted by the proposed tax changes.

“The proposed tax impacts are dependent on a number of factors, including but not limited to appreciation in farmland assets prior to a property owner's death, size of the farm operation and associated assets, income of the heirs, and the farm's ownership structure. Given these factors, we are writing to seek a detailed explanation and supporting economic analysis clarifying how these tax provisions will affect farm estates, including specifically how USDA arrived at the conclusion that fewer than 2% of farm estates will be impacted by the proposed tax changes,” the senators wrote.

Along with Boozman, the letter was signed by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Mike Braun (R-IN), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), John Hoeven (R-ND) and Joni Ernst (R-IA). 

The letter can be read in its entirety here.