Farmers would receive credits if they take a financial management program
By Diego Flammini
Ohio farmers could be in line for tax breaks if a new bipartisan bill passes through the state legislature.
State Reps. Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield) and Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) introduced House Bill 95 on Feb. 23.
If passed, the bill would provide tax credits to new farmers who participate in a state-run financial management program. Established producers who help younger farmers by providing land or equipment would be eligible for tax credits as well.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture and representatives from land grant colleges would work together to establish programs farmers could take to qualify them for the tax credits.
American farmers are getting older.
Legislation like House Bill 95 helps to ensure tomorrow’s farmers can begin their careers on the right foot.
“The average age of the U.S. farmer is currently 58,” Manchester said in the Ohio legislature on Feb. 23. “This legislation recognizes the need to help the next generation of farmers get started in a very capital-intensive industry.”
State farm organizations support House Bill 95.
Multiple barriers exist for new farmers, so providing incentives for them to learn and for established producers to help new farmers is critical, said Nathan Brown, a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s board of trustees.
“The agriculture industry is extremely difficult to break into if you or your family do not have a background in farming,” he said in a statement. “High amounts of capital are needed to invest in land, equipment, labor, crops or livestock, financial management plans and compliance with regulations, just to get started. New farmland is not readily available, so there is restricted access to the ground required, adding yet another barrier to individuals who are looking to start a career in farming. (This bill) gives beginning farmers a chance to pursue their passion and enter the agriculture industry.”
Ohio wouldn’t be the first state to pass such legislation.
Minnesota implemented its Beginning Farmer Tax Credits in 2018.
Since then, 162 farmers have sold or rented land to beginning farmers at a cost of $1.4 million in tax credits.
Iowa enacted its own new farmer tax credit law in 2006, Pennsylvania did so in 2019 and the Nebraska legislature passed its tax credit legislation in 1999.