WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 – Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) introduced legislation aimed at reducing the barriers to pass family farm and ranch ownership to future generations.
The American Family Farm and Ranchland Protection Act, S. 1901, would help to keep farm and ranch property under family ownership by allowing 50% of the property involved to be placed under a tax-free easement. Present law calls for a limit of 40% easement limit for agricultural estates.
“Outdated tax law is standing between farm and ranch families and their ability to pass their livelihood to future generations,” Crapo said. “This legislation has bipartisan support and has been endorsed by a number of agricultural and conservation organizations.”
Crapo said allowing landowners to protect more land under easements will not only benefit family farm and ranching operations, but also wildlife using the land. He noted too much land is lost to developers when families face onerous estate taxes.
“Short of an outright repeal of the estate tax, the American Family Farm and Ranchland Protection Act is a good first step to maintain the vitality of family farms and ranches,” he said.
Other co-sponsors of the bill include Senators Michael Bennett (D-Colo.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I,). Supporters of the legislation include the American Farm Bureau, Nature Conservancy, U.S. Cattlemen Association, Land Trust Alliance and the Defenders of Wildlife.
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