The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to extend the current tax code for another year. This includes keeping the estate tax, known as the death tax, at its current level of 35 percent for estates worth more than $5 million per individual and $10 million per couple.

Tackling the death tax is the top priority for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the oldest and largest beef industry organization in the United States. The death tax directly affects family-owned small businesses, such as farms and ranches, because of the burden it places on families hoping to pass their business on to the next generation.

Even though full repeal of the death tax is the top priority for NCBA, Kent Bacus, associate director of legislative affairs, says the plan passed by the House today is a step in the right direction.

“The good news is that the House-passed tax package provides a continuation of current estate tax relief through 2013. NCBA encourages both the House and Senate to keep the estate tax provision in any final tax package,” said Bacus.