The Forest Landowners Association supports the full and permanent elimination of the Federal Estate Tax.
America’s private forest landowners own 59 percent of America’s forestland. They are bearing more responsibility than ever for the nation’s environmental quality and sustainable timber production.
When a family member inherits forest land after the death of its owner, they don't simply pay taxes for the liquid assets inherited. Within 9 months, they must pay the federal government up to 47% in taxes — in cash — on all assets, including land, building, equipment, and more.
As timber and land values continue to rise, federal death tax policy causes untimely timber harvests and disruption of established forest management programs. The reality is people can't afford to pass on their private forest land. Regardless of how long it has been in their family, increasing numbers of private-family owned forests are being transferred into private corporations or being sold in order to avoid this costly tax.
The death tax is simply not an effective method of taxation. It brings in less than 1.2 percent of total federal revenues, and it is estimated that enforcement of the tax costs the federal government 65 cents for every dollar it raises.
Maintaining forest land in the ownership of those that care for the land and understand how best to manage the land, is in the best interest of our forests and our economy.
Through this onerous tax, the federal government is sustaining a public policy that undermines the fundamental principles that our nation supports – hard work, savings and fairness.
We believe that death should not be a taxable event. We will continue to help the United States Congress enact legislation that eliminates this unproductive and unfair tax.