Tax bill would aid new farmers

The Michigan Senate Finance Committee last week heard testimony on legislation sponsored by Sen. Kim LaSata to aid new farmers entering the industry and helping preserve Michigan’s agricultural history.

Senate Bill 697 would grant a tax credit to a farmer who rents or sells an agricultural asset – including land, livestock, machinery and buildings – to a beginning farmer.

Under the bill, a beginning farmer is someone who has entered the industry within the last 10 years; devotes a majority of their day-to-day labor to farm activities; and demonstrates adequate knowledge of the type of farming in which they seek assistance.

A farmer may not seek tax relief if they are related to the person to whom they are selling or renting an asset.

LaSata said the goal of this legislation is to provide an avenue for experienced farmers to use the tools and wisdom they have acquired over their lifetime to help new farmers and hand the reins to the next generation.

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