Minding Ag's Business
Marcia Zarley Taylor DTN Executive Editor

Wednesday 12/26/12

Estate Tax Giveback Would Hurt
Shrinking the federal estate tax exemption could have harsh consequences on farm businesses, especially because of land price gains the past decade.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:43PM CST 12/26/12 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | Post a Comment
Comments (7)
What is really sad, Marcia, is that government needs to steal so much from the citizens, from wherever they can,, to support their spendaholic habits, in order to justify their own make believe jobs.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 7:01PM CST 12/31/12
Greater levels of federal taxation have nothing to do with reducing debt or smaller deficits. Larger tax revenues encourages still greater government spending on bigger and more numerous government ratholes as well as still larger deficits.
Posted by Lon Truly at 12:05PM CST 01/01/13
For the record, the bill awaiting President Obama's signature today retains the current $5 million per person federal estate tax exemption plus an inflation adjuster. Legislators split the difference and voted to tax estates at 40% on any excess. Revenue from estate taxes barely dent the federal deficit, but have become a symbol for the "taxing the rich" movement so popular in DC. As farmers like to point out, however, they're only rich if they sell the farm!
Posted by Marcia Taylor at 9:00AM CST 01/02/13
And if sold, only rich untill the Obama grabbers get it into their clutches, which they will, one way or another.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 11:55AM CST 01/02/13
Money that builds up Estates comes from Profitable Enterprise, which is already taxed when the profit is made. Growing Legacies, in the long run, creates more tax revenue at the point of profit, and as it can create more jobs, as well as sell more goods and services, the Tax Revenue Base expands in a more sustainable way. "Double-Dipping" now, will cost more in the future. Any one that deals with long term debt or investment knows this. Stop double-dipping. It may preclude gathering a few extra tax dollars now, but builds for a more sustainable future, for business, prosperity AND tax revenue. We talk "Sustainability"-it's time for Washington to walk the walk.
Posted by Ric Ohge at 9:35AM CST 01/07/13
Marcia, based on the poll, more respondents fall in the "No Impact" and "Minor" categories than "Grave" and "Devastating". Of the "respondents" how many are farming the land, and how many are simply land owners renting out the land? I think many farmers are renting a large portion of their land, that's why they fall into the lower impact categories. I know of plenty of land in my area that is owned by investors, not farmers. The Estate Tax exemption protects these investors as well as all the absentee land owners out there that inherited land. Farmers will be the only ones to actually farm the land and they will make a profit whether they own the land or rent the land, the question is how to do we change the laws to put farmland ownership back into the hands of the people farming the land and out of the hands of people simply collecting rent checks?
Posted by T S at 8:37AM CST 01/10/13
Back in Phoenix about 30 Years ago when everyone was complaining about taxes, an old cowboy used to tell me, "I hope I owe a million dollars tax because that means I made a lot of Money"
Posted by gregory schimkat at 8:03AM CST 01/11/13
Crop Insurance Got You Covered?
Like homeowners, farmers worry about replacement cost insurance to cover losses in the event of a weather disaster. For 2013, a typical Indiana corn farmer with 75% coverage either needs a $6.30/bu. spring guarantee or higher coverage levels to cover variable costs, land and equipment.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:43PM CST 12/26/12 by Marcia Zarley Taylor | Post a Comment
Comments (21)
Just another government rathole - networth insurance for multimillionaires. And where does the constitution cover networth insurance for millionaires paid for by the taxpayers? Have you ever heard of crony capitalism Marcia?
Posted by Lon Truly at 11:59PM CST 12/26/12
Kind of like FEMA building new homes for multi-millionaires every few years in hurricane lanes on the coastlines,Lon?
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 6:33AM CST 12/27/12
Some who are wealthy enough deserve benefits worth millions everyyear (millions in insurance subsidies every year and millions in financial security blankets every year such as multimillion dollar investment/profit guarantees) . Others that are not very wealthy don't deserve much at all in benefits to compete with those who are more eligible for the best in government benefits. Certainly sounds like a bad case of crony capitalism to me.
Posted by Lon Truly at 8:04AM CST 12/27/12
Lon, I have hundreds of (less than 1500 acre) clients who are sure glad they had that "networth insurance" this year. Kept them farming another year... (Their words, not mine) I'm guessing you're A) not a farmer or B) had a bad experience with a bad agent? Not trying to be confrontational, just my observation sir.
Posted by Jarrod Bennett at 10:17AM CST 12/27/12
or, C) one of the farmers who is receiving subsidy money, but has elected to self insure, and will be losing dirct payments after the new farm bill is passed, and doesn't want to go to the work of getting his paperwork ready to get enrolled in the crop Insurance Industry. I am like you Jarrod, I do not know of anyone who after the last two years in western Kansas aren't glad that they had crop insurance to get them through, and help get more loans from bankers who require some sort of assurance that their investment will not be lost to mother nature.
Posted by Aaron Cross at 11:58AM CST 12/27/12
And the Saga of the fiscal slope continues. Steer your sled, rather than depending on a parachute. It may not open. .
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 12:08PM CST 12/27/12
A major reason that margins in ag are tight is because of government not only assuming nearly all the production and marketing risks for many of the major ag crops, but also government guaranteeing a profit to many farmers with current prices and current government insurance schemes. Current farm bill proposals double down on these government risk assumption schemes with new and crazier shallow loss income guaranteeing schemes. When farmers have to budget for more of the production and marketing risks they are not as crazy about driving profitability margins below zero. If the purpose of fci is to keep small farmers in business why don't we target only them with the benefits? Interesting how farmers small and large are more than willing to spend government guarantees available to them.
Posted by Lon Truly at 12:32PM CST 12/27/12
Crop insurance is just one of the many tools the United States government uses to ensure the American populace is the recipient of a safe, stable, abundant supply of food and fiber. I don't think crop insurance was/is designed to "keep small farmers in business", it's to keep ALL farmers in business to achieve above said objective. Farmers large and small benefit (proportionately) the same from this program. The subisdy and premium rate is exactly the same for a 800 acre corn farm as that of a 250,000 acre corn farm; disputing this point only demonstrates ignorance on the issue. Here is the link, anyone can check it out for themselves to validate: http://webapp.rma.usda.gov/apps/ActuarialInformationBrowser2013/CropCriteria.aspx
Posted by Jarrod Bennett at 11:38AM CST 12/28/12
Government giving more to those who have more (greater crop investments & greater probability of larger incomes)steals from those with lessor incomes and assets a fair opportunity to compete in the highly competitive business of agriculture.
Posted by Lon Truly at 1:35PM CST 12/28/12
See http://static.ewg.org/pdf/Crop_Insurance.pdf
Posted by Lon Truly at 1:37PM CST 12/28/12
Congress needs to be prohibited from engaging in the selective agricultural investment and profit guaranteeing business. Their sorry record of targeting select farmers with highly discriminatory multimillion dollar investment/profit guaranteeing policies has destroyed countless rural communities by neutering the ability of smaller farmers to compete. To guarantee that the largest and obviously potentially most profitable business always will have a vastly superior incomes renders the smaller farmers incapable of competing in this highly competitive business. If congress is going to be involved in the safety net business all farmers are equally deserving of comparably valued safety nets.
Posted by Lon Truly at 6:31PM CST 12/29/12
Lon, in regards to crop insurance you're just wrong sir, factually incorrect. I don't know any other way to say it politely.
Posted by Jarrod Bennett at 7:18AM CST 01/02/13
Man don't be disrespectful to Marcia, be grateful she gives us a platform to discuss issues. Please follow my link and from the drop downs select corn, 2013, Revenue Protection, then your state and county. Then examine the two tabs, rates and subsidy factors. You will find by doing this that at 800ac and above, the subsidy and premium rate is exactly the same. Mega-farms receive the same insurance subsidy rate as 'average' size (above 800ac) farms do. It's just a fact. I can't demonstrate it any differently than by using an RMA actuarial document that we use to issue policies from...
Posted by Jarrod Bennett at 12:39PM CST 01/02/13
Get a clue Bennett. My point is about the total fair market value of the federal crop insurance benefit per farmer received (fair market value of investment/profit guarantees and subsidies received) not per acre insurance or subsidy rates.
Posted by Lon Truly at 10:18PM CST 01/02/13
Get a clue Lon, Everyone who reads these posts got your point a long time ago. Your obstinacy on a very narrow perspective is only becoming annoying and is very redundant. I also agree with Jarrod, leave Marcia and Chris alone. As no-one ever has all the answers, clean the wax from your ears and you may learn to refine your perspective.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 5:24AM CST 01/03/13
Bonnie - Sorry your attachment to the FCI sow has limited your ability to deal with reality. It appears to me that your attachment to FCI has produced a variation of the Stockholm Syndrome where you are actually acting to promote the very force FCI that is destroying small farms such as yours. Jarrod certainly has had a difficult time grasping the devastation FCI has produced in rural America. It also appears that his attachment to FCI is liimiting his ability to come to an unbiased view of FCI.
Posted by Lon Truly at 8:04AM CST 01/03/13
There you go again Lon, I could care less if government programs disappeared. However I am not possessed with my opinions nor have I closed my mind.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 8:53AM CST 01/03/13
Lon I will make it easy for you. I am a beginning rancher. 8 years ago I bought 640 acres of pasture in Kiowa County Kansas. I am not sure what state you are from, but I would guess one of the I states. In south western KS a typical stocking rate is 10-13 acres per cow calf pair for a 6 month grazing season, so as you can see I only have room for around 50 cows (without using leased pasture). I would not consider myself a big Farmer/Rancher by any means. I receive a little government money for rotational grazing, and some farmland base on my pasture. I work two other jobs to help pay for my "hobby" and am happy to do it because I was always taught that you get what you work for. I would have had a terrible time getting a loan to purchase my ground had it not been for the Beginning Farmer Loan available at FSA. I am all for the Insurance Subsidy, and think that the Direct payments are a waste of money(I will not go into the rest of the farm bill due to limited space). I do plan on owning more ground in the future, but believe that everyone should have the same skin in the game when it comes to subsidies. If you use the same subsidy rate per entity, it just means that if you insure more you get more subsidy because you are paying a total premium that is more. I hope to be a so called "big farmer" some day Lon and maybe you should aspire to be more instead of trying to drag everyone down with you.
Posted by Aaron Cross at 3:59PM CST 01/04/13
Aaron - try reading http://static.ewg.org/pdf/Crop_Insurance.pdf I don't suppose it has occurred to you that some of us who oppose congress mindlessly throwing billions in all directions are in fact large farmers who have decades of successful experience farming USDA programs as well as growing crops.
Posted by Lon Truly at 7:50PM CST 01/04/13
So Lon, what you are saying is that you are taking advantage of the system, and you don't want to be able to do that anymore? I think getting rid of direct payments was a start in the right direction. I know crop insurance is something that has returned a profit to the government in the past, and even thought the last two years the government has lost money, overall the government is ahead of the game.
Posted by Aaron Cross at 2:50PM CST 01/08/13
Aaron - check out http://www.rma.usda.gov/aboutrma/budget/fycost2003-12.pdf I don't think there has ever been a government program where the taxpayer comes out ahead. So if you are loosing money farming you are not taking advantage of the system and if your farm is profitable you are taking advantage of the system?
Posted by Lon Truly at 7:07PM CST 01/08/13
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