Hoeven seeks details of Biden tax proposal’s impact on family farms

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) recently joined several Republican colleagues in requesting a detailed explanation and supporting economic analysis clarifying how several Biden administration tax proposals could affect the nation’s farm estates.

“We are deeply concerned about the impact of these proposed tax policy changes on America’s family farms and ranches,” wrote Sen. Hoeven and seven other senators, including U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), in a May 19 letter sent to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack.

President Joe Biden recently announced several tax proposals to fund the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan. Sen. Hoeven and his colleagues noted that several provisions are particularly concerning, such as the plan to increase the capital gains tax to as much as 43.4 percent for individuals with an income over $1 million, according to their letter.

Sen. Hoeven and his colleagues, who serve on the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, also pressed Secretary Vilsack to provide information on how USDA reached its determination that 98 percent of America’s family farms and ranches will not be impacted by the proposed changes.

“The proposed tax impacts are dependent on a number of factors, including but not limited to appreciation in farmland assets prior to a property owner’s death, size of the farm operation and associated assets, income of the heirs, and the farm’s ownership structure,” the senators wrote. “Given these factors, we are writing to seek a detailed explanation and supporting economic analysis clarifying how these tax provisions will affect farm estates, including specifically how USDA arrived at the conclusion that fewer than 2 percent of farm estates will be impacted by the proposed tax changes.”

As part of Vilsack’s explanation, Sen. Hoeven and his colleagues requested that the secretary also specify what special rules or exceptions are assumed to exist for farm estates and to include a breakdown of his analysis by farm type and farm size.