April 17, 2012

(Denver) –A bill to cut the estate tax for farmers and ranchers passed the Appropriations Committee today on a 9 to 4 vote.

HB12-1042, sponsored by Rep. Sal Pace (D-Pueblo), will provide a tax credit to farmers and ranchers if they paid an inheritance tax under the condition they keep the land in agricultural use. Currently under federal Law, a suspension of the “death tax” is set to expire in January 2013. Colorado’s inheritance tax is directly proportioned to the federal inheritance tax. Without this bill, it, too, is slated to return in 2013.

Rep. Pace said this tax cut will help prevent farmers and ranchers from being forced to sell their land if they are “land rich” and cash poor. The bill attempts to slow the estimated loss of 690 acres of Colorado farmland per day.

“Colorado’s farmers and ranchers play a crucial role in our growing economy, and we must do everything we can to ensure they can continue their jobs,” Rep. Pace said. “This tax cut gives our farmers and ranchers the incentives to keep their land in the family and continue agricultural production, a staple to Colorado’s economy.”

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