Cattlemen launch monthlong media campaign for tax reform
WASHINGTON – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association kicked off a media and advertising campaign Sept. 7, that will shine a spotlight on how various federal tax provisions impact America’s cattle and beef producers. The campaign, which will focus heavily on the death tax, aims to build support in Washington for comprehensive tax reform that makes our tax code fair for agricultural producers. The campaign will be centered around a new website, CattlemenForTaxReform.com, and will run through September.
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enact truly comprehensive tax reform, and we can’t afford to let this opportunity pass or to get it wrong,” said NCBA President and Nebraska cattleman Craig Uden. “Family ranchers and farmers deserve a full and permanent repeal of the onerous death tax, which charges them in cash on the often-inflated appraised value of their property and equipment. This campaign will shine a spotlight on the stories of real ranchers who have had to deal with this issue, and it will also highlight current tax provisions that we need to maintain, such as stepped-up basis, cash accounting, and deducibility of interest payments.”
In addition to the launch of the new website, the campaign kicked off with a two-minute video that will be heavily promoted on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. The campaign’s first video features fifth-generation California rancher Kevin Kester, whose family struggled for a decade to pay a large death-tax bill after his grandfather passed away. With the specter of the death tax still looming, Kevin is forced to spend precious time and energy – not to mention thousands of dollars – planning for how to pass the ranch on to his children and grandchildren.
“Without a doubt the biggest challenge that keeps me up at night is trying to figure out how to pass the ranching operation – our family operation on to the next generation,” Kester says in the video as he drives across his Bear Valley Ranch near Parkfield, Calif. “The current tax code is…leading toward more fragmentation of farms and ranches, which is not good for the environment or our ranchers and farmers.”
Over the coming weeks, NCBA will roll out several other promoted videos and infographics featuring profiles of ranchers and other members of the cattle-production community. The products will enable American cattlemen and women to share their priorities for tax reform in their own words. The campaign will also connect grassroots ranchers and producers with their elected officials on Capitol Hill as tax-reform legislation is considered this autumn.
“There’s a lot of misinformation out there on the tax debate – especially when it comes to who’s affected by the death tax,” Uden said. “This campaign will educate elected officials, the media, and the general public about how the tax code affects our American farmers and ranchers, who literally feed the world.”
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In response to the severe drought conditions in the West and Great Plains, the Agriculture Department this week announced that plans to help cover the cost of transporting feed for livestock that rely on grazing.