Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bill To Ensure Farm Property Tax Relief Eligibility Passes State Legislature

From Assemblyman Bill Magee's office:

Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, announced that legislation he sponsored to ensure more farms are eligible for critical property tax relief has passed both the Assembly and the Senate. 

The legislation allows family members who operate farms held in trust to qualify for the Farmers’ School Tax Credit – a refundable credit for farming businesses that have paid school district property taxes (A.4650).

“It’s important that we help farms transition from one generation to the next,” Magee said. “Those who have been farming for decades have knowledge that has been handed down and is almost impossible to replace. We can help new farmers take the helm and continue their family’s legacy by cutting red tape to ensure they get the tax relief they need and deserve.”

As chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Magee is a strong advocate for farmers, and fights to ensure that family farms can continue to thrive. He recognizes that trusts have become more common over the past several years as more families use them to transfer their farms to the next generation. 

Currently, there are more than 400 farms in New York State classified as “cooperative, estate or trust, institutional” and a significant number of those are trusts.

However, a technicality in current law allows family members who intend to purchase the land to be eligible for the Farmers’ School Tax Credit, while those who will inherit through a trust are not. Magee’s legislation corrects that oversight and allows new farmers to claim the credit. 

The legislation has passed both houses and awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

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