A bill introduced today to help more farm families continue their livelihoods after the death of a loved one has the full support of the American Farm Bureau Federation. The Preserving Family Farms Act of 2019 is sponsored by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.).
“Farm and ranch families often face a significant financial burden when they have to pay estate taxes,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Farm families should be able to pay based on how their land is actually used, rather than its potential value as commercial property such as a shopping center. AFBF commends Representatives Panetta and Walorski for introducing the Preserving Family Farms Act of 2019, which will give more families hope they can hold on to the farm when a loved one passes. We strongly urge House members to co-sponsor this important bill.”
The legislation modernizes the special use valuation provision of the estate tax. This valuation allows property to be appraised as farmland rather than its development value when determining estate taxes. Increasing the amount of farmland or ranchland that can be valued at agriculture value rather than development value would help protect family-owned farm and ranch businesses by assessing estate taxes on the actual value of the businesses they have spent decades building.
“Allowing more farmland to qualify for special use valuation would elevate this provision of the tax code to its proper place as a helpful estate planning tool,” Duvall said.