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Farmers, AFBF concerned about Stepped up basis, WOTUS

WASHINGTON--Farmers and ranchers across the Nation are voicing their concerns to Capitol Hill on the top issues facing them.

Traveling America’s heartland, American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall is talking to farmers and ranchers about priority issues facing their operations. Duvall says farmers are worried about proposed changes on the stepped-up basis.

“They're very concerned about the conversation that's being had around taxes and how we will move forward on the stepped-up basis

The step-up in basis provision adjusts the value, or “cost basis,” of inherited assets like stocks, bonds, and more importantly, farmland when it is passed on after death.

They have contacted their Congressmen and Senators. So, we've had tremendous support, even to the point that we've had some Congressmen and Senators write letters from both sides of the aisle to leadership and to the President about how important it was to not to change stepped-up basis, and how important it was to us to be able to continue to pass our family farms on to the next generation,” said Duvall.

The American Farm Bureau President says farmers and ranchers are also telling the Environmental Protection Agency what they need from the Waters of the U.S. Rule rewrite effort.

EPA has been holding listening sessions about rewriting the rule and taking comments,” said Duvall. “And we're very proud that about 75 percent of the sessions were farmers and ranchers that volunteered. I think that was a great showing, so we're really proud of the way agriculture stepped up to let EPA know that we want clean water, but we also have to have clear rules."

Duvall says farmers and ranchers need to stay engaged in these issues.

“I know our farmers and ranchers are busy, but I'm telling you, we need to make sure that our farmers and ranchers stay engaged on what's going on in Washington, D.C. We encourage them to be part of an organization like Farm Bureau, and alongside Farm Bureau be part of their commodity organizations, so that we can work in tandem, working for the same outcome. If you're not part of an organization, you might be like that lone wolf howling in the night. You join up with organizations like ours, we put together a pack of voices that cannot be ignored,” said Duvall.