Analysis of different tax-reform plans begins

IFB governmental affairs chief calls House proposal a 'win-win-win' on estate-tax issue.

By Jim Taylor

House Republicans unveiled their tax-reform proposal last week, with the Senate expected to follow suit later this week. And agriculture groups have begun the tedious process of examining the potential impact to their industry.

“Some will affect us in a very positive way, and some we’d like to see tweaked,” said Mark Gebhards, executive director of governmental affairs and commodities for the Illinois Farm Bureau. “That’s what making legislation is all about is finding that middle ground and compromise as you go forward.”

Gebhards said ag interests continue to ask him about the estate tax and its role in future tax-reform debate.

Submitted By Justin Skinner

“That’s been on our policy books for a long time to permanently repeal the estate tax,” he told the RFD Radio Network®.

Gebhards was pleased that exemptions came into play five years ago, allowing the $5 million exemption per spouse plus the index for inflation, which now puts that exemption at $5.4 million. 

“I want to reiterate stepped-up basis and the importance of that as it relates to the whole estate-tax area,” he said. “As we had discussions with members of congress that were working on this (House) proposal for the last several months, we reiterated a number of times the importance of stepped-up basis.”

Gebhards said the House proposal appears to be a “win-win-win” proposal on the estate-tax issue.

“We are able to get permanent repeal at the year 2024, and we do retain stepped-up basis,” he said. “It’s a good scenario for us.” 

The Senate tax-reform proposal is due out later this week, and Gebhards is anxious to see its position on the estate tax as well as the capital gains tax and cash accounting.

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