WASHINGTON—Rural Democrats issued a warning Thursday about the Biden administration’s plan to tax unrealized capital gains at death, saying they are worried about the potential impact on family farms.

In a letter to House leaders, 13 members said they appreciated the administration’s proposal so far to let family-owned farms and businesses defer the taxes if they stay in family control and operation. They said they would push to ensure strong protections for farms as the plan advances and details get written.

“I’m all in support of the Jeff Bezoses of the world paying their darn fair share because they can afford it and we need it,” Rep. Cindy Axne (D., Iowa), the letter’s lead author, said Thursday. “But we can’t create an unintended outcome of losing family farms.”

Other signers include Rep. Jim Costa (D., Calif.), Abigail Spanberger (D., Va.) and Kurt Schrader (D., Ore.).

The Democrats’ letter doesn’t draw any red lines, unlike a Republican letter this week that raised similar concerns and opposed any change to capital-gains rules. But with Democrats enjoying a slim 218-212 advantage in the House, just a handful of Democrats could hold up President Biden’s broader plans to raise taxes and use the money for preschool, child tax credits and other initiatives.


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