Top Capitol Hill Democrats says they have a framework agreement on taxes to fund their $3.5 trillion Biden “Build Back Better” budget. However, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duval said what’s known on those tax ideas, so far is not acceptable. And that includes a capital gain ‘carve out’ for farms that stay in a family when an owner dies—part of a bid not in a House bill, but still being discussed with the Senate to end the stepped-up basis.


“We think that’s a very dangerous way to go about it. We’re appreciative that they think about that, but to defer that tax is a tax liability that’s going to hang over our farm until it makes a transition.”

Possibly, Duvall noted, hurting lending to such farms until then.

Democrats have also proposed halving the estate tax exemption this year, instead of its 2025 sunset, with a possible carve-out using an obscure tax code provision as an offset But Duvall says farmers have complications and expenses, because of the need for consultants and lawyers and accountants. And even if Ag gets a tax carve-out.

"And every other business gets taxed, we’re huge consumers, but everything we buy to produce that crop to supply the food and fiber for this country, that is a big, big price tag," Duvall continued. "So those taxes will roll back to the farm, and it will be very expensive for us to be able to handle the increase in costs.” 

Democrats must still deal with moderates opposing the size of their social spending bill and progressives who refuse to back a smaller bipartisan Senate-passed infrastructure bill without action on social spending.

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