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Act now: help farms and small businesses stay in the family

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Farm Bureau is asking members and supporters to tell Michigan's Congressional delegation to oppose legislation that would impose a massive new tax when there's a death in the family, making it difficult to pass farms -- and other small businesses -- on from one generation to the next.

Proposals to impose capital gains at death and to repeal the so-called stepped-up basis tax method would be devastating to Michigan's family farms, according to John Kran, national legislative counsel for the Michigan Farm Bureau.

Related: Farm Bureau opposes proposals to eliminate stepped-up basis, impose capital gains taxes at death

'Eliminating the stepped-up basis would make continuing the family farm extremely costly and force the next generation to sell their farms just to pay the tax,' Kran said. 'The value of many farms is in their land and equipment, so they don't have the cash on hand to pay large capital gains taxes -- it would force families to liquidate assets or even lead to farm consolidation.

'Keeping the stepped-up basis would instead encourage families to continue investing in their business and pass it on to another generation because it allows a farmer to pay capital gains taxes only on a property's increase in value since the time that land was inherited, instead of paying the full increase in value since it was purchased by a deceased relative.'

Messages can be easily sent to your representatives and senators by visiting or texting the phrase MIFARMS to the number 52886.

While a prewritten message is provided, members are encouraged to consider adding a personal story about how your family or a farm you're connected to would be impacted by this issue.

Date Posted: April 6, 2021