1-27-12: Future of Maryland’s Family Farms?

January 27, 2012 at 8:00 am 4 comments

In Annapolis yesterday, Republicans and Democrats joined forces to announce their legislative priorities for the session—those bills that both parties want to see pushed through.

On the docket?  A reduction in Maryland’s family farm estate tax.

This is an issue that’s long been backed by Republicans in the legislature.  Delegate Kathy Afzali, Republican of Frederick, has a similar measure in.  Sheilah talks about it with her, and with Ron Young, Democrat of Frederick, who’s the co-sponsor in the Senate.

Entry filed under: Food, On Air, Policy. Tags: , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Maxine Saunders  |  January 27, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I appreciate your doing more on this issue, but I am still unsatisfied as to the details of the bills and the effects on farmland. First, what guarantees are there that the farms will stay in traditional farming (ie, raising animals, producing plants), and what restrictions are there on borrowing against the true value of the land until the debts exceed the value and the whole thing is foreclosed? These issues need to be discussed much more. The most piercing question was, if this is something that depends on farmers dying, how urgent is it in reality? Doesn’t it deserve a lot more thought and detail before we provide millionaires with tax deductions? Thanks for asking that, and it caught your interviewee a bit off guard.

  • 2. Kathy Afzali  |  February 4, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I appreciate the question. The bill requires the farm to stay farming for 10 years. If the farm is sold then the taxes are due. This bill is for family agriculture business who are forced to sell when a farmer dies. Contrary to what people think, farmers do not have a lot of money. The heirs often have to sell the farm in order to pay the Maryland Estate tax. If you have any further questions about the bill you can call me directly at 301-524-7417. Hope this answers your questions. Kathy Afzali

    • 3. Maxine Saunders  |  February 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      I don’t think 10 years is nearly enough. It ought to be at least 25.
      Thanks for your reply.
      Maxine Saunders

  • 4. Richard Berman  |  February 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Would you please provide specific examples of Maryland family farms that were broken up exclusively because of the estate tax bill? I have been unable to find a single detailed case. I’m sure you must have at least 10 detailed cases.
    What percentage of Maryland family farms were subject to estate tax.? A couple can now leave $2,000,000 estate tax free, right?
    Also, how much revenue would be lost to the state and how would that be replaced?


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