Wautoma, WI
Current Conditions
0:56 AM CDT
Clear
Temperature
76°F
Dew Point
53°F
Humidity
45%
Wind
NNE at 12 mph
Barometer
30.19 in. F
Visibility
10.00 mi.
Sunrise
05:35 a.m.
Sunset
08:31 p.m.
Morning Forecast (7:00am-12:00pm)
Temperatures will range from 55 to 70 degrees with mostly clear skies. Winds will remain steady around 9 miles per hour from the east. No precipitation is expected.
7-Day Forecast
Wednesday
74°F / 54°F
Partly Cloudy
Thursday
77°F / 59°F
Partly Cloudy
Friday
74°F / 61°F
Light Rain
Saturday
78°F / 62°F
Scattered Showers
Sunday
71°F / 48°F
Scattered Showers
Monday
71°F / 48°F
Partly Cloudy
Tuesday
77°F / 54°F
Partly Cloudy
Detailed Short Term Forecast
Issued at 0:56 AM CDT
Wednesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 74 to a low of 54 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 1 and 10 miles per hour from the northnortheast. No precipitation is expected.
This Afternoon ...Temperatures will range from 71 to 74 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 6 and 10 miles per hour from the north. No precipitation is expected.
This Evening ...Temperatures will range from 71 to 59 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 1 and 8 miles per hour from the northeast. No precipitation is expected.
Overnight ...Temperatures will range from 60 to 54 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will remain steady around 3 miles per hour from the southwest. No precipitation is expected.
Thursday...Temperatures will range from a high of 77 to a low of 59 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 3 and 10 miles per hour from the southsouthwest. Less than 1 tenth inch of rain is possible.

Death, taxes and farming - Congress needs to fix 2013's estate tax levels

Oct. 25, 2012 | 0 comments

A commentary by Casey Langan, executive director of public relations/spokesman for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

Benjamin Franklin said death and taxes were supposed to be life's certainties. However, when you combine the two, the result is anything but certain for Wisconsin farm families.

Estate taxes (sometimes called death taxes) are as unpredictable as Mother Nature.

Between 2002 and 2012, the federal estate tax exemption and tax rate changed nine times.

To say its on-again-off-again nature makes it difficult for farmers to plan for a transfer of the family farm to the next generation is like saying this past summer was a little dry.

Here's the looming problem: As recently as 2009, less than two percent of farms were subject to the estate tax when the exemption was $3.5 million.

That's a good thing, because when Uncle Sam comes to the farm to pay his last respects (in the form of the estate tax), survivors without enough cash may be forced to sell off portions of a farm that took generations to build.

Without action from Congress, next year's estate tax has a top rate of 55 percent and a $1 million exemption. The U.S. Agriculture Department estimates 10 percent of farms will be subject to the estate tax.

The $1 million per person exemption means a married couple with a 500-acre farm in Wisconsin will find themselves subject to the estate tax when one of them dies.

Here's why this is particularly painful and important in farm country: Estate taxes can hit farm families harder than other small businesses because 86 percent of their assets are real estate-based.

Farming takes a lot of capital assets (land and equipment) to generate the same dollar in income that another type of business could generate with less.

Once the November election is over the Wisconsin Farm Bureau wants Congress to provide an estate tax provision that would increase the exemption level to $5 million, and adjust it for inflation, and reduce the maximum rate to 35 percent. This allows farm families a better chance of feeding the world for another generation.

There has been lots of talk about people getting their 'fair share' this election season. Well, farmers ought to have the ability to pass the farm to the next generation.

Farming by its very nature is unpredictable. Look no further than last summer's drought for proof. Without proper planning a drought can wipe away generations of equity in a single disastrous harvest.

Our federal government should not be setting up farm families for the same kind of pitfall by failing to fix the estate tax structure.

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