Fiscal cliff could mean fallout for farmers, ranchers

By: CNN Email
By: CNN Email

With the fiscal cliff looming, many farmers and ranchers are bracing for what could happen to their taxes. And with the record drought this year, they say they need every bit of help they can get.

One of the tax provisions that will expire if the country goes over that fiscal cliff is inheritance tax, which is very important to these producers.

Right now there's a $5 million exemption on the inheritance tax which covers most farms and ranchers, but if the cuts were to expire, the exemption would drop to just $1 million, and the tax rates would bump up to 55 percent.

With current land values, that means any young farmer or rancher that hopes to continue to in their field may have to consider selling off their land.

It has young farmers worried, like Zach Hunnicut, who is trying to make it on his family farm in Nebraska.

"It would be pretty bad for our farm because we would be looking at having the possibility of selling off productive assets, selling off ground doing some of that stuff just to foot a tax bill if we were to unfortunately be in that situation if my dad or brother or I would happen to die under that tax law it could be a big problem for us," said Hunnicut.

This non-action from Congress and President Obama leaves farm officials confused on how to plan, and searching for security.

The president and Congress have just 27 days to compromise before automatic spending cuts and tax hikes take place.

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