Archive for Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Letter to the editor: Farm Bureau propaganda

December 12, 2007

To the editor:

As a former state senator (1997 to 2000) representing Leavenworth and Jefferson counties, I have to respond to the Farm Bureau propaganda column that appeared in your issue of Nov. 28. "Death Taxes Killing Family Farms" was the headline and "death taxes" was repeated at least 10 times in the column. The term is widely used as a code word to stir emotions among the general public that would never be impacted with the very large current inheritance tax exemptions at the federal and state level. Simply put, it is a scare tactic to promote the cause of mega farms and corporate agriculture that the Farm Bureau currently represents. It has nothing to do with the true "family farm."

In 1998, any inheritance tax liability in Kansas was significantly reduced. The federal estate tax reduces each year as have all taxes on the wealthy during the Bush administration. But - greed seems to have no limit. The Farm Bureau and other business organizations continue to lobby for total repeal of estate taxes. Warren Buffett, America's second wealthiest man, is an exception as a strong advocate for continuation of the estate tax along with the wealthy paying higher income taxes. The result of lower taxes for the wealthy is higher taxes for the rest of us. He states that only one in 200 estates would be subject to current inheritance taxes. The Farm Bureau should be challenged to identify a single farm or small business that has been lost due to their so-called "death tax."

Don Biggs

Kansas City, MO

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