Yes, you read that correctly: abolishing U.S. federal estate tax, commonly derided as the “death tax,” would help preserve large amounts of privately owned forest in the U.S., according to an intriguing piece by Ross Marchand in Real Clear Policy.
- Death tax currently stands at 40% of the value of the deceased’s estate, kicking in at $10 million or more (the threshold is set to fall to $5 million in 2026).
- By relieving the estate tax burden of private owners of acres of forested land, the federal government could avoid forcing them to sell their land to developers in order to be able to pay their estate taxes.
- Around 11 million American families own property containing around 300 million acres of forested land.
- In addition to helping preserve forested private property, private owners of forested land support around two million jobs, according to Marchand.