National Update

Estate Valuation Rules

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) filed comments July 31 on the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) proposed regulations concerning the valuation of family business assets for estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax purposes. In August 2016, the IRS issued regulations that could seriously impact the ability to generate minority interest discounts that aid in the transfer of family-owned entities. The proposed regulations, if adopted in their present form, will impose significant restrictions on the availability of valuation discounts for gift and estate tax purposes in a family-owned business. Farm Bureau called for their withdrawal in comments filed in November 2016. On April 21, President Trump signed Executive Order 13789 on Identifying and Reducing Tax Regulatory Burdens. The order called for the Secretary of the Treasury to review all significant tax regulations issued by the Department of the Treasury on or after January 1, 2016. One of the regulations suggested for review were the IRS proposed regulations concerning estate valuation rules.

Regulatory Reform Letter

Thirty members of Congress on Aug. 1 signed and sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the U.S. House committees on Natural Resources and Agriculture requesting they work together to address the numerous regulatory inefficiencies and statutory roadblocks in the agriculture community. They urged the committees to modernize the Endangered Species Act and similarly outdated laws and regulations. The letter references how Farm Bureau has repeatedly attested to the disproportionate and often unnecessary challenges faced by the agriculture community due to burdensome regulatory regulations.

Support WOTUS Repeal

Farm Bureau members across the nation are encouraged to submit comments in support of repeal a of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule. The rule was not implemented because it was halted by both a federal district court and a federal court of appeals. But those court orders are only temporary. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current proposal would eliminate the 2015 WOTUS rule permanently, while the agency goes back to the drawing board to develop a definition that protects water quality without asserting federal regulatory power over puddles in farm fields.

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