Taxes on unrealized gains would have a devastating impact on hardworking Americans
Washington, D.C. – November 28, 2023 – In case you missed it, former U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) was recently published in the Omaha World-Herald opposing the taxation of unrealized gains. Senator Nelson is a senior advisor for Saving America’s Family Enterprises (SAFE), a bipartisan research and education organization focused on comprehensive tax reforms that raise revenue, increase fairness, promote greater efficiency, and encourage companies to do more business in the United States. You can read the full opinion editorial here.
“There are more than 2 million farms in the United States — including more than 150,000 in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota — and 97% of them are family-owned operations. It has become more challenging than ever for them to stay in business, and now there is a proposal in Washington to make things even worse, by imposing a new tax on ‘unrealized gains.’ It would require farm owners to pay taxes on the increased value of their operation every single year.
“It just doesn’t make any sense to tax income that hasn’t yet been earned, especially when it comes to agriculture. Farmers and ranchers often accrue substantial assets, primarily in the form of land and equipment, which can significantly appreciate in value over time. Historically, they haven’t been penalized for that — it’s what makes these farms so valuable to preserve from generation to generation. Taxing the unrealized gains of these operations would impose a severe burden on these families, potentially jeopardizing the future of their farms already strained by local property taxes.
“In practice, new taxes on unrealized gains could actually force family farms to sell off parts of their land or liquidate assets simply to pay this new tax. Instead of fostering growth, it would remove capital from both family farms and small businesses. From there, it’s a domino effect: it becomes harder to reinvest in their business, upgrade equipment, or pass their operations for the next generation.”