U.S. Reps. Cory Gardner, Scott Tipton, Doug Lamborn, and Mike Coffman are asking leadership to consider the negative impacts a death tax hike would have on small businesses, farms, and ranches as they proceed with negotiations over how to avoid the fiscal cliff.
If nothing is done by the end of the year, the death tax will increase from 35 percent to 55 percent and the cap for exemptions will decrease from $5.12 million to $1 million. In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the four Republican Congressmen from Colorado point out that these changes will subject nearly 14 times as many small businesses and 24 times and many farms to the tax in 2013.
"Earlier this year, I held a series of ag forums around my district, and we heard from countless farmers who said a death tax increase will make it impossible to pass their farms down to their children. If something isn't done, this is going to destroy family businesses in rural America." - Rep. Cory Gardner (CO-04)
"The value of a family farm is tied to the land. When a farm is passed from one generation to the next following the death of a family member, it can be extremely difficult to continue operations and pay employees when facing the crippling estate tax. Families intending to continue the family business and maintain valuable jobs should have the opportunity to do so without being crushed by a punitive tax measure." - Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03)
"As the fiscal cliff looms closer, all Americans should grab their pocketbooks, because going over that cliff will mean a huge money grab for the government. President Obama must put forward a responsible plan for cutting spending. If he cannot put forward a plan that has the support of Congress, families who inherit small businesses and farm operations will be hit with massive new estate taxes. These taxes could devastate the very backbone of the American economy at a time they need to be strengthened, not weakened." -- Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
"Such an increase in the estate tax would force many family-owned small businesses and farms to sell their operations instead of passing them on to their children to run." - Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-06)