Just ex­empt farms from es­tate tax plans

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS OPINION -

I won­der if there is a sim­pler so­lu­tion that will ad­dress the con­cerns of the farm­ers. If Congress truly feels that our farms are crit­i­cal to on­go­ing, af­ford­able food sup­ply, why do they not just carve out fam­ily farms from the es­tate tax re­quire­ments?

It would be easy to ex­empt fam­ily farms from the tax by sim­ply re­quir­ing the heirs to agree to con­tinue to op­er­ate the farm as an on­go­ing con­cern. Should they de­cide to sell the farm, then they would be sub­ject to the same es­tate tax as all oth­ers.

Raise the thresh­old for pay­ing es­tate taxes each year by the same con­sumer price in­dex cal­cu­la­tions the govern­ment uses for other ben­e­fit pro­grams like So­cial Se­cu­rity to keep pace with in­fla­tion. But don’t ex­pect the av­er­age tax­payer to sub­si­dize the rich and ul­tra­rich by elim­i­nat­ing this im­por­tant source of tax rev­enue al­to­gether.

Linda Ol­lis

Beau­fort, S.C.

The es­tate tax is/was in­tended to help pre­vent su­per wealth, not fam­ily farms. I’m OK with rais­ing the limit, but we must heav­ily tax the mil­lion­aire class. There are a lot of loop holes that need to be closed on the es­tate tax. Sam Walton died, yet his fam­ily is still worth bil­lions. We fought the Revo­lu­tion­ary War to free our­selves from no­bil­ity. We need the es­tate tax now more than ever.

Rick Cur­tis

I’m sorry peo­ple hate the idea of pass­ing wealth to chil­dren, but that’s the whole point. Some par­ents work hard to give ev­ery­thing they fought for to their chil­dren so they can get a leg up.

How­ever, each year in­fla­tion drops the value of the dol­lar, and that means the es­tate tax is ac­tu­ally get­ting more bur­den­some to small busi­ness own­ers, farm­ers and any­one with $5 mil­lion or more worth of as­sets. John Mal­in­tone

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