Bipartisan bill aims to amend estate tax code to conserve America’s farms and ranches
A proposal to change the estate tax code to keep more farms and ranches intact is back after U.S. Sen. Mark Udall reintroduced a bipartisan bill last week that never materialized in 2010.
The American Family Farm and Ranchland Protection Act is designed to help families stave off the pressure of selling, dividing or developing their farms and ranches when bequeathing them to the next generation. As the law is currently written, if a conservation easement is placed on a property 40 percent of the value of the land can be exempted from the taxable estate. The amount is capped at $500,000. But under Udall’s proposal, the exclusion rate would rise to 50 percent of the total value of the land and cap it at $5 million, providing tax relief should families designate it for agricultural and conservation use.
Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, is a co-sponsor along with Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Al Franken, D-Minn., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.
“Some of Colorado’s most important wildlife habitats, watersheds and prairies are held by private farmers and ranchers, and we should make sure we give them the tools they need to protect these natural treasures for generations to come,” Bennet said. “This bill would provide estate tax relief for family farms in Colorado and provide necessary incentives to encourage these landowners to protect their lands through conservation easements.”
The senators say the bill has broad public support, including that from the American Farm Bureau, U.S. Cattlemens Association, Defenders of Wildlife, Land Trust Alliance and the Nature Conservancy.
The American Family Farm and Ranchland Protection Act was first introduced on July 22, 2010, and referred to the Committee on Finance, but it never made it out of committee. When the session ended at the end of the year, the bill basically died on a vine and had to be reintroduced this year.
Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.
SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
The Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB) and the Community College of Denver (CCD) Paralegal Program are holding a public debate for the candidates seeking the position […]Read More
“Environmentally concerned residents of the San Luis Valley are alarmed over the possibility of new oil and gas wells being developed on or near pristine […]Read More