Kevin Jones

Raleigh News & Observer

Letters to the editor

Mar 18, 2009

Land as a legacy

President Obama has made a big fuss about openness and transparency. So why is he hiding his plans to make the death tax permanent? Maybe because his advisers realize that the death tax destroys farms like ours.

Hidden in a footnote in the president's 2009 budget proposal is his plan to cancel the 2010 repeal of the death tax and make it permanent at the rate of 45 percent above a $3.5 million exemption. This policy will force many farmers to sell land.

Due to rising land values, I can be a millionaire on paper without having cash assets. The farm land that my great-grandfather purchased 80 years ago has substantially increased in value. The same land that I'd like to pass on to my kids will leave them with a hefty death tax. Because we lack cash, they will likely sell some, if not all of the land, in order to pay the tax.

My family has worked hard to build and maintain this productive farm land as our legacy. We'd like to keep it that way. Obama should find a better way to fund his budget than confiscating our American dream.

Kevin Jones, Wake Forest