President Donald Trump unveiled a tax cut plan Wednesday that would cut corporate and individual taxes, as well as completely eliminate the estate tax — a tax that falls only on the richest Americans (something like two out of every 1,000 estates are impacted).
At a rally in Indiana, Trump touted Kip Tom, a Leesburg resident, as a potential victim of this estate tax. “With us today is Kip Tom, a family farmer,” the president said. He explained that Tom’s family has been in farming for 187 years. “That could come to an end because of the death tax or the estate tax,” he warned.
But Tom isn’t just some small-time family farmer. He is a former congressional candidate who narrowly lost his primary in 2016; he was recruited as a “Young Gun” by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The financial disclosure he filed in 2015 reveals that his income was well into the millions. In addition to owning Tom Farms, he is the president of grain storage and drying firm CereServ Inc., which he reports gave him over $5 million in income during the reporting period.
Chuck Collins of the Institute of Policy Studies, using a database of agribusiness farm subsidies, notes that Tom Farms, which claims to have 17,000 acres in production around the world, is Indiana’s ninth largest recipient of farm subsidies. Between 2004 and 2014, Tom and his various companies received around $3.3 million in farm subsidies.
Kip Tom’s family will probably be OK.