Seventh-generation cattleman Bob McKnight has faced the death tax on multiple occasions, with effects that have been exacerbated by dramatic wildfires and drought.
For many farm owners, this has meant the liquidation of cattle herds or entire operations. For Mr. McKnight specifically, this combination of death tax and cost of natural disasters forced him to lay off seasonal workers.
This has proved extremely detrimental to his business operation because the skill set required of agricultural workers is very unique and takes years to develop. Hence, this also means that these workers are difficult to replace. On top of losing workers, Mr. McKnight has faced the dilemma of where to focus his energy. While he would like to think about investing further into his business, the death tax diverts his attention to cuts. Therefore, as Mr. McKnight so astutely put it, this means:
The death tax impacts more than just my family. It affects our employees and the family businesses around us. In the small rural communities of Texas, these family ranches have support businesses all around them. And when you are feeling it, I can tell you it runs through the entire community, and it is pretty tough.
Robert E. McKnight
McKnight Ranch Company