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Guest commentary: What will be your farm’s legacy?

January 24, 2013

By Ryan Batalden We often think of our legacy as related to our farm’s financial success....

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Jan-25-13 8:41 AM

Good estate and tax planning early on goes a long way towards limiting those tax "penalties" down the road. I work with plenty of people who have started that process and they're only in their 30s or 40s. When someone inherits something, it's income or assets that are new to them--it's not earned income. If I were to suddenly come into some money, I'd have to pay taxes on it (unless it was an insurance payment). If someone gives you a car, you still have to register it and pay the license tab fees for the value of the vehicle.

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Jan-24-13 10:03 AM

Al, I think you somewhat missed Ryan's point. Yes, the tax penalties for passing on the farm are ridiculous but Ryan makes some other very good observations. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer of today's farmers consider community, personal values and the next generation when it comes to expansion or land aquisition. It's about money and image. That's sad.

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Jan-24-13 9:22 AM

No problem if the farm is valued at under $5 million - otherwise you pay estate taxes just like any other business owner.

There is no moral difference between a hardware store, grocery store or farm when it comes to estate taxes - or so the Dems have decreed.

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