Press Releases

Rep. Jason Smith and Rep. Sanford Bishop Introduced Bipartisan Legislation To Protect Family-Owned Businesses

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Washington, March 10, 2021 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jason Smith and Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) introduced legislation to protect family-owned businesses, farms, and ranches from being hit with a hefty tax in the event a loved one dies. Senator John Thune (R-SD) introduced companion legislation in the United States Senate.

The Death Tax Repeal Act would allow farmers, ranchers, and small business owners to expand their operations, invest in their employees, and upgrade their infrastructure and technology, instead of worrying about their loved ones being hit with a the estate tax.

“The last thing grieving Americans need is to be punished for their family’s hard work in building successful farms, ranches, and small businesses that feed the world and drive our economy,” said Rep. Jason Smith. “Repealing the death tax is a necessary step towards ensuring the future for family-owned farms and small businesses for generations to come and helps them carry on their family’s legacy.”

“I have always believed that the death tax is politically misguided, morally unjustified, and downright un-American," said Congressman Bishop.  “It undermines the life work and the life savings of farmers and small- and medium-sized businesses in Georgia and across the nation. It is high time that we put an end to this unfair tax and pass this important legislation.” 

In December 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law and provided temporary relief by doubling the death tax exemption for family-owned businesses. 

Statements of support for Congressman Smith’s legislation:

“Farmers and ranchers already face unpredictable challenges beyond our control yet persevere to protect our nation’s supply of food, fiber and renewable fuel. The tax code should encourage farm business growth, not add to uncertainty,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Eliminating the estate tax removes another barrier to entry for sons and daughters or other beginning farmers to carry-on our agricultural legacy and make farming more accessible to all. We appreciate Senator Thune and Representatives Smith and Bishop for introducing their bills and look forward to working with them to get this important legislation passed.”

“The Family Business Estate Tax Coalition (FBETC) represents diverse family-owned businesses from across the country who are united in an effort to end the devastating impact that estate taxes can have on businesses when a family member dies. In addition, the estate tax’s frequently-changing thresholds increase uncertainty and planning costs for family-owned businesses. The FBETC believes that Congress should protect family owned-businesses by repealing the estate tax. The FBETC commends Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Representatives Jason Smith (R-MO) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA) for their continued efforts to support America’s family-owned businesses and farms.”

This bill is also supported by the: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Family Business Coalition (FBC), and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).


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