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Farmers and ranchers are getting a little nervous that Congressional Democrats may still end their stepped-up basis tax break in favor of a capital gains tax at death. The question of if ending stepped-up basis as a revenue source is still on the table was recently put before Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, with Oregon’s senior senator leaving open the possibility that the idea still had legs. But for producers, it was just one of several tax questions, as Democrats work to downsize and save their budget, which has been caught in intra-party fighting.

“Democrats are set to return the death tax exemption to its pre-2017 level, starting in January, which means more family farms and ranches will once again be in the tax’s cross-hairs,” noted South Dakota Republican John Thune.

While the #2 Senate Republican argued the Biden Build Back Better budget picks losers and winners in other areas, like transportation.

“And that winner, Mr. President, is electric vehicles. Biofuels take a back seat in Democrats’ legislation, despite the essential role they played in making American energy cleaner, and despite the significance of biofuels to the rural economy.”

Democrats counter that they have provided a lot of assistance for rural broadband, roads, bridges, and inland waterways in their bipartisan infrastructure bill; another piece of legislation that is stalled because of in party fighting.

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail gvaagen@cherrycreekmedia.com