Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 3:01 PM ET, 03/ 9/2011

O'Malley pushes tax break for family farms

By John Wagner

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) took the unusual step Wednesday of testifying on legislation sponsored by a pair of freshman lawmakers -- one of them a Republican -- that would cost the state money at a time when it is battling budget shortfalls.

The bill would partially exempt agricultural property from the estate tax, a goal O'Malley told the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee is consistent with his vision for preserving family farms.

"This bill is really about securing a stronger future for Maryland farming," O'Malley told the committee. "The loss of even one family farm is unacceptable. ... No farmer should ever lose their farm when they lose their parents."

The bill would exempt the first $5 million of an agricultural property from the estate tax if it is passed on to someone who pledges to continue using it for farming. The estate tax applied the property value above that would be limited to 5 percent, significantly less than is often the case now.

The Senate version of the bill is sponsored by Sen. Ronald N. Young (D-Frederick). The House sponsor is Del. Kathy Afzali (R-Frederick). O'Malley had planned to testify at the House hearing on the bill last week but had a last-minute conflict.

An analysis of the bill by legislative staff says it could cost the state $2.3 million in tax revenue in fiscal year 2012. Agriculture Secretary Earl F. Hance told the Senate committee he believes the true cost could be significantly lower but said the economic impact of preserving farms could exceed that cost, in any case.

By John Wagner  | March 9, 2011; 3:01 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Md. House ends debate for the day on same-sex marriage
Next: Baker ready to unveil economic plan for Pr. George's

Comments

Everyone plant a garden. More special interests. Will they have to change their farming practices to stop killing the Bay?

Posted by: jckdoors | March 9, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Can I get a tax break? I produce carbon dioxide for plants every time I breath.

Posted by: VikingRider | March 9, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company