...Families Keep It in Business
Farmers who want to keep the family farm in the family and in business when the owner dies hope that a law signed last week will do just that for agricultural homesteads in Maryland.
The Family Farm Preservation Act (HB 444) signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley aims to protect the future of the family farming by substantially reducing death taxes on many smaller operations.
The new law, which takes effect in July, raises the estate tax exemption from $1 million to $5 million on agriculture-related assets so long as the farm remains in agricultural use for 10 years following the owner’s death. The previous base exemption made it difficult to for farmers to pass their farm on to the next generation following an owner’s death.