Westerman cosponsors leglislation to repeal the death tax

WASHINGTON - Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) joined Congressman Randy Feenstra (IA-04) and 162 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in introducing the Death Tax Repeal Act. This legislation would permanently repeal the death tax, which imposes an unfair and costly tax on the transfer of property, land, and other assets from a deceased family member to heirs of family farms and small businesses.

Over 99% of our country's two million farms and ranches and over 95% of our nation's small businesses are owned and operated by individuals and families, and this legislation would enable these multigenerational businesses to continue to support their families without having to pay a devastating tax upon the death of a family member.

The Death Tax Repeal Act enjoys support from 194 organizations.

"In the aftermath of losing a family member, Arkansans should be able to grieve and continue the legacy of their loved one, without being faced with an onerous tax bill from the federal government just to keep their family business going," said Rep. Bruce Westerman. "Unfortunately, this is the reality for many who inherit family farms or small businesses after the tragic loss of a family member. I'm proud to cosponsor the Death Tax Repeal Act, with overwhelming support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, to fully repeal the death tax. Family farms and small businesses are critical to Arkansas, and this legislation will ensure that families can afford to keep their business, and the legacy of their family, alive for years to come."

"The death tax represents double taxation at its worst. Iowa families grieving the loss of a loved one should not face an enormous tax bill from the federal government just to continue the family tradition of farming or keep their small business open and operational," said Rep. Randy Feenstra. "I'm proud to lead 162 of my colleagues to permanently repeal the death tax, ensure that hardworking families, farmers, and small businesses keep more of their hard-earned money, and strengthen family-owned-and-operated enterprises in Iowa. By fully eliminating the death tax, we can keep China away from our farmland, allow family farms and small businesses to succeed, and encourage the next generation of Iowa farmers and business owners to plant their roots in rural Iowa, support our main streets, and contribute to our economy."

"Families who spend a generation building up a successful farm, ranch, or small business should be rewarded – not punished – by our tax code. Unfortunately, when a loved one passes away, many such families are forced to choose between attending to their grief or the threat of losing their business because of the excessive costs imposed by Washington's misguided death tax,"said Rep. Jason Smith, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. "Repealing the death tax is a necessary step to ensuring that family-owned farms and small businesses across America can continue to thrive and carry on their family's legacy of hard work. I am proud to support this important piece of legislation introduced by my colleague, Rep. Feenstra, and look forward to continuing the fight on behalf of American family farmers, ranchers, and small businesses."

"I have always believed that the death tax is politically misguided, morally unjustified, and downright un-American," said Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. "It undermines the life work and the life savings of farmers and jeopardizes small- and medium-sized businesses in Georgia and across the nation."