On a recent trip to North Dakota, President Donald Trump promised family farmers in that rural state and throughout the country that he would lift the “tremendous burden for the family farmer,” he claimed they face via the estate tax. The fact is, however, that ending the estate tax will cause more harm than good to farmers, and to agricultural and rural communities across the country.
How many family farmers are actually “burdened” by the estate tax? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only 0.4 percent of family farms owed any estate tax at all to the IRS in 2016. That’s just over 150 farms out of the national total of 38,328 farm estates. That’s because only estates of any kind worth $5.49 million for individuals or $10.98 million for couples are subject to the tax in the first place. And even fewer of those 150 are small farms.