Uncertainty remains around stepped-up basis

Uncertainty remains around stepped-up basis despite House Democrats dropping all proposals to change it in House Ways and Means Committee draft legislation.

Many ag groups have urged lawmakers to think twice before making changes to tax policies that could ultimately hurt family farms.

But, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley says there could be more attempts to modify stepped-up basis.

“I haven’t seen what the Senate Finance Committee is thinking of doing and they seem to be much more aggressive than the House Ways and Means Committee,” he says.

The Iowa republican says farmers need certainty in the tax code.

“It has become a political football and that brings uncertainty to the operation of a family farm and plans for estate and passing one business on to the next generation,” he says.

The senior executive director of government affairs with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says it’s unclear how the House bill will “marry” with Senate priorities.

Danielle Beck says NCBA will stand by U.S. farmers and ranchers and their need for a federal tax code that supports a viable business climate now as well as future generational transfer of their operation.

“They rely on these provisions in the tax code in order to survive the year, especially years where margins are thin or you’re operating in the red,” she says.

National Corn Growers Association President John Linder says provisions on the estate tax could negatively impact family farms.

Linder says NCGA will continue to work to preserve stepped-up basis and the current estate tax exemption.

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