Jason Chapman is slowly buying shares in his family ranch company so by the time his parents pass away, he’ll have transferred enough of the ownership to himself to avoid the Oregon and federal estate taxes – taxes levied when one generation dies and passes on a business or farm to their heirs.

“Even though the ranch has been in my family since 1948, if my parents pass away today, I’d have to come up with the money to pay the estate tax,” Chapman said. “I’d have to sell the ranch.”

On the November ballot, Kevin Mannix and Common Sense for Oregon are backing a ballot measure to get rid of the estate tax in a gradual phase out. It’s called Ballot Measure 84.

Opponents call it a tax break for millionaires and say it will decrease state funds.

Proponents say the estate tax hurts businesses, especially family farms.

For more on Measure 84 see the print and e-editions of Thursday’s Herald and News. Click here for subscription information.