The death of Ohio’s estate tax

The Ohio House of Representatives voted to approve the Conference Committee report of House Bill 153, the State Operating Budget which includes the repeal of the Ohio estate tax. The Ohio Senate approved the Conference Committee report on June 28. The bill will now be sent to Gov. John R. Kasich for his signature.

Ohio agriculture has long been pushing for the repeal of the Ohio estate tax because it disproportionately affects Ohio’s farmers and small business owners. According to the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, approximately 84% of farmers’ assets are real state-based.

Currently the estate tax exemption for Ohio is set at 338,333 dollars, and the highest taxation rate is 7%. Even a family farm of only one hundred acres valued at approximately four thousand dollars per acre is subject to the tax. Many Ohio residents have lost significant portions of their family farm due to the burden of the tax and the inability to liquidate the means needed to pay for the farm after the loss of a loved one.

Bret Davis, Ohio Soybean Association Vice President, a fourth generation family farmer from Delaware County, testified on behalf of OSA in support of the estate tax repeal.

“Farmers have a deep understanding of the stewardship that is bestowed upon them by their profession,” said Davis during his testimony. “We recognize we are not ‘owners’ of the land, but we are stewards of the land passing the resource to generation after generation… For Ohio’s 26,000 soybean farmers, repealing the estate tax is about sustaining the family farm and passing the opportunity of a special way of life to the next generation.”

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