New Bill Creates Tax Credit For Beginning Farmers

A new bill aims to create a tax credit for farmers for the sale or lease of agricultural assets. Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Dairy Business Association, and Wisconsin Agri-Business Association support the bill.

LRB 5758 would create the Farming Forward Program. The program aims to help pass family farms on to the next generation. It does this by encouraging existing farmers to sell or lease farmland and machinery to beginning farmers. It would help beginning farmers with their startup costs.

Reps. Jenna Jacobson and Dave Considine and Sen. Mark Spreitzer introduced the legislation.

“Farmers across Wisconsin have shared that one of the biggest hurdles to continuing and strengthening our agricultural legacy is expensive startup costs,” explains Jacobson. “At the same time, many farmers who are looking to retire rely on income from selling or leasing the farm to fund their retirement, and may not be able to afford to sell or lease their land at a discount to a beginning farmer.”

The program provides a 5 percent refundable tax credit to farmers for the sale or lease of agricultural assets. Beginning farmers may also claim a credit of 5 percent of the amount they paid for improvements on ag assets.

“The Farming Forward Program would create an important incentive for farm asset owners to sell or rent agricultural assets – including land, machinery, equipment, facilities, and livestock – to beginning farmers at a more affordable price,” Spreitzer says.

He says the Farming Forward Program would help beginning farmers afford critical startup costs and investments.

LRB 5758 is available for cosponsorship by the members of the state legislature through Feb. 9. The bill was modeled on a previous beginning farmer tax credit program in Wisconsin.