Weatherford Opinion

One step closer to death tax repeal

After years of being penalized for the loss of a loved one, Texas farmers and ranchers are finally one step closer to killing the “death tax” once and for all.

“We’re thankful the House has passed the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015,” said Don Smelley, Parker County Farm Bureau president. “It adds insult to injury when landowners have to pay large sums because they’ve inherited the responsibility of running a farm or ranch after someone has passed. We need this tax reform.”

In 2003, Congress raised the estate tax exemption to $5 million and indexed it for inflation.

“It sounds like a lot of money, but with land values on the rise, it’s easy for some estates to hit that ceiling,” Smelley said. “Many landowners’ assets are tied up in the land. Having to come up with the taxes could create a real hardship for many and force closure of the family business.”

The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration.

“Let’s stop penalizing families for their loss,” Smelley said. “To protect Texas farms, ranches and landowners, we need a full repeal of the death tax.”