Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
510 S. 31st Street , Camp Hill, PA 17001 • 717.761.2740 • Email • @pfbmediaone
For Immediate Release: July 14, 2016
Farms Enrolling in Farmland Preservation Also Exempt from Realty Transfer Tax(Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau says changes included in the new state tax code will strengthen an existing law by closing a loophole that limited many farm families from taking advantage of an inheritance tax exemption.
Farmers greatly appreciated an exemption from the state inheritance tax signed into law (Act 85) in 2012, but recent interpretations of the act were limiting the scope of the exemption.
“The change ensures that the exemption will apply to all farm families, who continue operating the farm, regardless of the type of business structure they utilize,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “We believe the original intention of the law was for the inheritance tax exemptions to cover situations involving all types of farm families, including instances in which the deceased leaves the farm to a family farm corporation or limited liability partnerships (which often exist in Pennsylvania), as long as the owners are members of the deceased family.”
Farm Bureau noted that a change in the law was also needed to lift some limitations on farm families using estate planning options (like family trusts), which help the family manage the farm and ensure their ability to operate the farm in the future.
Meanwhile, another change to the tax code clarifies that farm owners are exempt from paying realty transfer taxes on transfers of conservation easements, including land enrolled in the farmland preservation program.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly 62,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.