Farmers: Estate Tax Repeal Helps Keep Farms In The Family

Governor Pence signed legislation this month, excluding property inherited after January 1, 2013, from a state tax.

Mathews Hoosier Homestead Farm

Photo: Jim Grey (flickr)

The Mathews Hoosier Homestead Farm has been in the same family for more than 100 years.

Farmers say they’re pleased with the repeal of Indiana’s inheritance tax. Governor Mike Pence signed legislation earlier in the month which exempts property inherited after January 1 of this year from a state inheritance tax.

Joyce Peden owns several farms in northwestern Monroe County with her husband where they raise corn, soybeans, hay and Angus cattle. She says she is relieved the tax has been repealed because it means her children will be able to carry on their family business, which started more than 70 years ago.

“When we die, our kids we want to inherit it,” Peden said. “If you had to pay taxes on all that it would be very, very expensive and probably they’d have to sell parts of it or all of it to pay the taxes.”

With increasing farm land values, Peden says farmers are often pressured to sell their land rather than pay the estate tax, but now that should not be the case.

Steve Hickey, program director of Future Farmers of America’s Indiana chapter, says eliminating the tax will reduce the financial burden on both agricultural producers and consumers.

“If a family farm is hurt, it’s just another one of those things that raises food prices in a time when they’re taking enough grief from energy costs and other input costs,” Hickey said.

The federal estate tax only applies to assets totaling more than $5 million, so most Indiana farm families will pass on their land without paying any taxes.

Jimmy Jenkins contributed to this report.

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