The propagandists fronting for Big Ag like to tell you that the estate tax is a death tax that threatens to put family farmers out of business. Horse hockey. Rep. Earl Pomeroy from North Dakota sponsored HR 4154. We might expect a North Dakota Congressman and Ag Committee member to know a thing or two about the impact of taxes on rural America. As Rep. Pomeroy points out, HR 4154 actually eliminates the estate tax for 99.75% of Americans.
Of course in South Dakota, And a South Dakota reality check:
In 2003 when the exemption amount was $1 million, only 50 of the 7133 decedents in South Dakota had estate tax liability – 99.8 percent of decedents paid no estate tax [Coalition for America's Priorities, "Estate Tax Information: South Dakota," retrieved 2009.12.05].
The exemption in HR 4154 is $3.5 million. For couples (like the moms and pops running family farms), it's $7 million. Now if Pat can show me his slice of the real estate business is worth more than $3.5 million, then he's got a gripe. If Troy and Stacy can show me their operation is worth $7 million, then they've got a gripe (although they can make $2000 a pop just to do that griping in front of an audience).
And remember: without Congressional action, the estate tax will be replaced next year by a capital gains tax that will hit ten times as many estates.
Gee, sounds to me like SHS and the Dems are doing a lot of family farms and small businesses a favor... unless, of course, your definition of family farm and small business includes the Stips, whose machinery alone can sell at auction for over $5 million dollars.