Growing up on a Kansas dairy farm, I know the estate tax is a threat to family farms. This tax makes bailing hay and shoveling manure sound like a get-rich-quick scheme, when most family farms make an average of $45,000 a year. Raising the estate tax to 55 percent and dropping the exemption to $1 million might be feasible for a hedge fund manager, but it will jeopardize the future of farmers and their families, forcing many to sell their farms they worked to build for generations.
Many farmers are ``land rich'' but ``cash poor.'' The average land value for 65,000 Kansas farms is $900,000. Throw in a $300,000 combine, a $250,000 tractor, and Kansas farmers are suddenly millionaires according to estate tax math. But this isn't wealth they can use to pay taxes. It's in assets.
Farmers provide us with a safe and dependable food supply. We cannot allow the estate tax to put them out of business.