New Mexico Ranchers: Raising Inheritance Taxes Would Be ‘Devastating’ to Industry

Some lawmakers in Washington are trying to overhaul how inheritances are taxed, and it could be devastating to New Mexico’s family farms and ranches, association groups say. The Sensible Taxation and Equity Promotion (STEP) Act, introduced by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) would allow the government to retroactively tax heirs on all value added to their inheritance over the course of the decedent’s lifetime—not just since the decedent’s death. The second bill, called the 99.5 Percent Act and sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would lower the estate tax exemption from $11.7 million per individual and $23.4 million per couple to $3.5 million, or $7 million per couple. Tamara Hurt, chair of the taxation committee for the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, said these bills if passed would be devastating to the livestock industry. “Most producers work really hard and live below their means because they never know when the …

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