Rural Issue

Nebraska rancher, Farm Bureau members concerned about capital gains proposal

A western Nebraska cattle rancher says she’s concerned about reports that President Biden is going to unveil a tax proposal that includes higher capital gains taxes.

Nebraska Farm Bureau member Sherry Vinton of Whitman says it would hurt producers and limit long-term economic growth.

She tells Brownfield eliminating the step-up basis where land is valued at the current market is harmful. “It’s going to hurt the small and medium producers most and only allow really large players afford to buy land,” she says.

She says her and her husband Chris bought their ranch at the bottom of the agricultural market in 1988. Today, it supports three families including their daughter Jessica’s family and their son David’s family

“If something were to happen to Chris and me, our children would likely end up selling some of the land or take out a mortgage to pay that capital gains tax, essentially buying the ranch all over again. This ranch is a place they have worked their wholes lives. The very policy that is designed to level the playing field for small and medium businesses might put them out of business,” said Vinton. 

Vinton says the Farm Bureau also wants to keep the 1031 exchange where producers swap one property for another without having to pay capital gains. “But if they eliminate this, the farm you sell you’re going to have to pay tax on that reducing the incentive to buy the new farm. You won’t have as much money to do it.”

Sherry Vinton’s full interview on capitol gains taxes.

Vinton and other Nebraska Farm Bureau members lobbied the state’s congressional leaders on ag issues at a virtual Washington D.C. Fly-In on March 3rd and 9th.

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