Current Week

Estate Taxes

May 1, 2021

May 1, 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

This is Randy Russell sitting in for my good friend Jack Block. And now today’s commentary. This week the Biden Administration is rolling out their plans for infrastructure reinvestment. During the campaign, then Candidate Joe Biden proposed a series of tax increases totaling $3 trillion, including raising tax rates for higher income individuals, increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and treating capital gains as ordinary income. Some now are suggesting using these and other revenue raisers to pay for infrastructure, climate, and education initiatives.

Importantly for agriculture, proposals exist to significantly change existing estate tax laws. Currently, an
exemption is provided for estates up to $11 million per individual and $22 million for couples. Under
these proposals, this exemption could be reduced to as low as $3.5 million for individuals and $7 million
for couples. Estates valued above that level would see their tax rate raised from 40 to 45%. There is also
discussion of eliminating the so-called “stepped up basis.” When an heir inherits an asset—for example, a
farm or other small business—they are allowed to value that asset at the time of the passing of the owner.
This saves the heir from paying tax on the accumulated value of that business, property, or other asset
since it was started.

According to USDA’s Economic Research Service, over 98% of our 2 million farms and ranches are family owned. In addition, USDA estimates that 82% of farm assets are in illiquid farm real estate. So, what does this all mean for agriculture? The combination of potentially lowering the exemption, increasing the tax rate above the exemption, and eliminating the stepped-up basis would create significant tax liability for farms, ranches, and small businesses being passed onto the next generation. Over my career in Washington, I have been a part of eight Farm Bills dating back to 1981. A basic premise of every one of these Farm Bills is to implement policies that protect the family farm. Increasing the tax liability for farmers and ranchers being transferred to the next generation directly conflicts with this objective.

More importantly, why do we have a death tax at all? Farms and other small businesses have been
generating revenue for federal, state, and local governments every year they are in operation. Death taxes
simply create yet another opportunity to generate revenue for federal and state governments from these
same farmers and small business owners. Isn’t this double taxation?

Once again, this is Randy Russell sitting in for Jack Block.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to
www.johnblockreports.com.

Previous Weeks

Farming Today

April 28 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

I have not been here at the farm in Illinois since last September when we started harvest. The
global pandemic has shut a lot of us in, but I have my vaccine shots now and I…

Read More/Listen

Earth Day

April 22 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

Big Change – we can all remember that President Trump had no interest or concern about “climate change.” When elected he quickly withdrew the U.S. from the World Climate…

Read More/Listen

Spending and Budgets

April 15 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

We have been hearing a lot about President Biden’s infrastructure plan. Well, it is a lot more
than money for roads, bridges, waterways and broadband. Senate Minority Leader…

Read More/Listen

What’s Next?

April 8 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the
National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.
They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural
America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

The weather is starting to warm up, and I am excited and looking forward to seeing that corn
planter knifing seed in the ground. I love planting season, but harvest is even better.…



Read More/Listen

Ag Day

March 25 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the
National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.
They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural
America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

President Biden declared March 23rd as National Agriculture Day. He said, “I call upon all
Americans to join me in recognizing and affirming our commitment to and appreciation for…



Read More/Listen

Issues

March 18 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the
National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.
They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural
America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

I want to have an open mind and be fair as I evaluate the policies advocated by President Biden
and our new Congress. It is too soon to know where we are going on trade. There…



Read More/Listen

Trade

March 11 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the
National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.
They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural
America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

We all know or should know that we’re going to have a $1.9 trillion relief package. It does
target the needy, the hungry, and unemployed. But there are billions and billions…



Read More/Listen

Equality

March 4 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

“Equality” sounds good. It is only fair. Last week the House passed the Equality Act designed to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.…

Read More/Listen

Relief Bill

February 25 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

Joe Biden has been President for a month and now Tom Vilsack has just been approved as our new
Secretary of Agriculture. I am happy to see Tom Vilsack stepping back into the…

Read More/Listen

Trade

February 18 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the
National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.
They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural
America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

I know that the battle over how much we spend and what we spend the money on in the $1.9
trillion Relief Bill will dominate our Congress. But I want to talk about trade now.…



Read More/Listen

Page 1 of 116 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›