Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fixing the Estate Tax

Earlier this month, President Obama signed a law that provides a two year decrease in the estate tax and a higher exemption level (35% and $5 million), compared to the tax that would have been imposed if Congress and the President had done nothing (55% and $1 million). This helps family forest owners across the country hang on to their land. There is a great article that appeared in the Baltimore Sun on December 17th that provides a good overview. The article gives a lot of credit to the American Forest Foundation. We need to thank them for their efforts.

We still need to get a special provision passed specifically for family forest owners but this is definitely a step in the right direction. Continue to encourage your congressional leaders to consider the Family Farm Estate Tax Deferral Act of 2010 (S.3664). This bill would remove the estate tax burden on family-owned forests, if the land stays in the family and is managed sustainably. S. 3664, would provide family forest owners with an exemption from the estate tax, if they keep the land in their family and manage it as a forest.

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