HARRISBURG – Senator Judy Ward (R-30) spoke out in favor of a bill today that would encourage farmers to work with the next generation of leaders in agriculture to continue Pennsylvania’s rich farming heritage.
Senate Bill 478, sponsored by Senator Elder Vogel (R-47), would provide a personal income tax credit for landowners who lease or sell their land, buildings and equipment to beginning farmers. The approach is patterned after a successful program in Minnesota that has provided tax credits to nearly 450 landowners.
Ward, whose grandfather was a farmer, spoke in favor of the bill at a news conference today at the state Capitol Building in Harrisburg.
“Most of the farms in my district have been passed down from generation to generation, and the owners and operators take a tremendous amount of pride in following in the footsteps of their grandparents and great-grandparents,” Senator Ward said. “Farming is an integral part of our national, state and local heritage, but that heritage will disappear if we fail to take action. I hope we can move this bill forward and safeguard the future of our state’s most important industry.”
Landowners would receive a one-time personal income tax credit for the sale of property or a multi-year tax credit for the lease of property. The legislation requires all leases be enforced through written agreements and that the sale of property be for fair market value in order to qualify for the tax credit.
The bill is supported by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the National Young Farmer Coalition.
CONTACT: Cheryl Schriner (717) 787-5490