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Published November 18, 2012, 04:12 PM

ND Farm Bureau head worried about estate tax boost

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The president of the North Dakota Farm Bureau says he's worried about the possibility of a large increase in the federal estate tax.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The president of the North Dakota Farm Bureau says he's worried about the possibility of a large increase in the federal estate tax.

The problem is part of a larger budget and tax package in Washington that's called the "fiscal cliff." If Congress doesn't strike a deal, tax rates will go up at the end of the year.

Farm Bureau President Doyle Johannes says the estate tax rate could jump from 35 percent to 55 percent, and estates worth more than $1 million could be taxed. Right now estates aren't taxed unless they're worth more than $5 million.

Johannes says if the changes take effect an average 1,200-acre North Dakota farm could owe $2 million in estate tax. He says that could force the breakup of family farms.

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