The NCC joined a large number of commodity, general farm, livestock and agribusiness organizations in a letter to the House and Senate urging prompt action to ensure that the existing estate tax provisions are not allowed to expire on Dec. 31.

The letters are on the NCC’s website at

If current law expires, then beginning on Jan. 1, 2013 the exemption will drop from $5 million per person to $1 million and the top rate will revert to 55 percent from the current level of 35 percent. The letter conveys support for establishing a permanent exemption of $5 million per person and retaining the top rate of 35 percent.

The groups also stressed the importance of indexing the exemption for inflation, providing for spousal transfers and preserving the stepped-up basis.