Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Simpson Introduces Beginning Farm and Ranchers Act

Bill Would Benefit the Nation's Young Farmers and Ranchers

(WASHINGTON) Record-high fuel, fertilizer and operating costs are forcing the nation’s graying farmers and ranchers to retire, some are selling out to developers and agricultural land is lost forever. Representative Mike Simpson wants to keep Idaho farm and ranch land in production and thinks he can do it through the nation’s tax structure.

Simpson joined Congressmen Earl Pomeroy (D-North Dakota) and Lee Terry (R-Nebraska) as an original cosponsor of the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Act. The members introduced the legislation to the U.S. House of Representatives today.

The Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Act will allow retiring farmers and ranchers to receive a 100% exemption from the capital gains tax if the land is sold to a qualified beginning farmer or rancher.

“It is becoming increasingly difficult for the upcoming generation of farmers and ranchers to follow in their families’ footsteps,” Simpson said. “This legislation will help level the playing field for young producers to compete against land developers or well-established producers who are able to offer higher prices for farmland.”

The Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Act will also offer capital gains tax exemptions to agriculture producers who sell their farmland to other producers in order to keep the land in production.

“More and more farmland is being taken out of production and developed,” said Simpson. “Often it is more profitable for farmers to sell their land to developers then to pass it on to their children. Hopefully, this legislation will help alleviate the horrid capital gains tax that accompanies these transactions and allow for more choices for farmers and ranchers.”

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