WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has cosponsored legislation in an effort to support family-owned farms, ranches, and businesses.

According to a press release from Congresswoman Stefanik, the legislation specifically protects farm owners from taxes and regulations that could negatively affect their business. One of the focuses of the legislation is protecting the stepped-up basis for farmers.

The stepped-up basis is a long-standing provision in the tax code that protects heirs from paying capital gains taxes on inherited assets such as land, equipment, or buildings. Congresswoman Stefanik sponsored the legislation after Joe Biden proposed changes to the provision that would increase the tax and could affect the generational change in family farms or family-owned small businesses. 

Congresswoman Stefanik stressed the importance of protecting the stepped-up basis as farms continue to be handed down over generations.

“Our family-owned farms and small businesses are essential to communities in Upstate New York and the North Country,” Stefanik said. “Repealing this critical provision would be devastating to keeping farms and small businesses in the family. I will continue to stand up for our farmers and small businesses against taxes and regulations.” 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 97% of farms in New York’s 21st District are family-owned. If the stepped-up basis is eliminated, 66% of all mid-sized farms would see an increased tax liability. n of the stepped-up basis;

In addition to preserving the stepped-up basis, the legislation also opposes any efforts to impose new taxes on family farms or small businesses and recognizes the importance of generational transfers of farm and small business operations.

Last May, Stefanik signed a letter voicing opposition to the elimination of the stepped-up basis in President Biden’s reconciliation plan. The full text of the legislation can be found here.