Lawmakers in D.C. continue to discuss spending proposals into the billions of dollars, and some even into the trillions. And while details have yet to be ironed out, many of the funding proposals include an increase in estate taxes and capital gains taxes.


“It's a scary time for agriculture and for cattle producers because there is a lot of need for true infrastructure," noted Ethan Lane, Vice President of Government Affairs with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. "And you know, we're watching this debate play out on Capitol Hill, they don't seem to be able to agree on what to have for lunch, nevertheless what should be included or counted as infrastructure in one of these large packages. And then, obviously, the pay-for’s for something like this really start to hit close to home for an industry that owns large amounts of land and equipment and assets like that but by and large is typically cash poor. That's something that we've really spent a lot of time trying to communicate to the Biden administration.”

Lane added they have seen some positive response from the Administration.

“We've seen some things back from them; Secretary Vilsack put up some outline of kind of where they want to go on this during the President's address to Congress back here a month before last, and they've tried to articulate that their intent here is to carve out some room so that agriculture is not directly impacted by some of these tax increase proposals," Lane said. The job ahead of us is to make sure that they have a very clear understanding of the distinction between a business that is very land-intensive and requires a lot of land, and a cash-intensive business that has a lot of resources in that regard. We're having some success in that conversation; We've seen the President relent on stepped-up basis and make some comments in the last week or so that that's probably not an avenue that's going to make sense. So, we're gonna have to just keep the pressure up on that.”

Lane continued that the damage caused by those funding proposals would be devastating to American agriculture.

"The damage that could be done, if they were successful, would be enormous on production agriculture, on ranches as well as farms. Catastrophic: I mean, 40% of agricultural operations are going to transition to the next generation in the next 15 years, and if you took some of these tools out of the tool chest to allow families to transition those farms and ranches, you will lose the agricultural base in this country,” Lane added.

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