The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association today released the fourth and final video in its month-long media campaign to promote comprehensive tax reform. As the end of the campaign draws to a close, the videos featuring beef producers have already been viewed a combined 260,000 times and have reached more than 450,000 people on Facebook.
NCBA’s fourth video features rancher Pete Bonds, who runs the Bonds Ranch operation headquartered in Saginaw, Texas. Bonds talks about the steep costs associated with planning for the death tax, and urges Congress to “just get rid of the son of a bitch.” While most people associate the death tax with jet-setting billionaires, Bonds explains that the land-rich, cash-poor business model that ranchers depend on makes the death tax especially harmful to family-owned operations.
“Most ranchers, 90-plus percent of their assets is land. That land is not very liquid. And if at my death, if we had not done anything, the kids would have had to come up with several million dollars to pay the death tax. We don’t have that amount of money just sitting around.”
To effectively manage his tax burden, Bonds has been forced to sink hundreds of thousands of dollars into estate and tax planning – money that could have been used to expand his business, hire new employees, or invest in the local community.
“You know, that’s a waste. It’s costing us tens of thousands of dollars a year to do this… We spent several hundred thousand dollars getting a limited liability partnership set up. And went through not only appraisals but the appraisals of the appraisals. We spent about as much money getting this stuff into the kid’s names, as my dad paid for this damn ranch.”
NCBA’s tax reform campaign is centered around a new website, CattlemenForTaxReform.com, and will run through September. The campaign will also connect grassroots ranchers and producers with their elected officials on Capitol Hill as tax-reform legislation is considered this autumn.