In order to pay taxes on inherited land, families can be forced to sell off parts of their farms.

Proposals look to offer relief from Ohio’s estate tax

Buckeye Farm News

Introduced by Rep. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, House Bill 326 would reduce the current tax rate by 20 percent and increase the existing tax credit from $13,900 to $15,575. Moving forward, the credit would increase with inflation.

The legislation also eliminates the state’s share of the tax, providing the money entirely to the local government in which the estate assets are located. Local governments would have the authority to exempt residents from the tax. Voters could also seek an exemption for their municipality or township through the initiative process.

Another proposal that may be headed for the state ballot would rid Ohio of its estate tax starting in 2013.

Beth Vanderkooi, OFBF director of state policy, said Farm Bureau will be examining both plans carefully. OFBF policy supports efforts to reduce or eliminate the impact of estate taxes on farmers, whose families can be forced to sell parts of the farm to pay the tax and associated administrative costs.

At the national level, Farm Bureau backs permanent repeal of federal estate taxes. Until that is achieved, it supports a meaningful exemption level.

The federal estate tax was repealed for 2010 but is scheduled to be reinstated in 2011 with a $1 million exemption. The tax rate for values that exceed $1 million will be 55 percent. With rising land values, Farm Bureau believes many family farms could easily exceed the $1 million exemption.

In late 2009, the House passed legislation that would raise the exemption level to $3.5 million, but the Senate took no action on the bill.

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