The Farm Equipment Manufacturers Assn. (FEMA) has joined a large coalition of farm and commodity groups in renewing its call for Congress to enact legislation that would significantly lower federal taxes on large estates that are valued at over $10 million.

Under current tax law, estate taxes are non-existent this year, but would snap back in 2011, with estates valued at over $1 million being subject to a top tax rate of 55 percent. The coalition is calling for permanently raising the estate exemption to no less than $5 million per person and reducing the top rate to no more than 35 percent.

The groups also want the $10 million exemption indexed to inflation and for the government to continue to allow heirs to claim a stepped-up basis so they can avoid capital gains taxes when they sell the assets from the estate.

According to John McCoy, President of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association, if Congress fails to rewrite estate tax law as outlined by the coalition, it “will cause many viable agricultural operations to disappear.” McCoy added, “This important legislation is vital to the sustainability of our producer customer’s operations and therefore has significant value to our Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association Members.”

McCoy is the president and owner of Orthman Manufacturing, Inc., founded by Henry Orthman in 1965. Located in the heart of American agriculture in Lexington, Nebraska, the company serves a worldwide agricultural marketplace. Orthman’s foundation is built on the principle that in order to design and manufacture industry leading products, quality relationships must be present between the manufacturer, dealers, and end users.

The Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association is an international not-for-profit trade organization representing more than 310 manufacturers of specialized farm equipment, more than 250 industry supplier companies and 39 marketing firms. Founded in 1950, the Association is headquartered at 1000 Executive Parkway, Suite 100, St. Louis, Missouri. For more information about the Association, please visit