Family farms called vulnerable to estate tax
WHAT: Free seminar on estate tax planning for farms
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Thursday
WHERE: Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau boardroom, 475 N. Palora Ave., Yuba City
CONTACT: For further information, call the Farm Bureau at 673-6550
The Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau is hosting a seminar on estate tax planning for farms this week, with attorney Robin C. Bevier speaking on how to protect the family farm or ranch from potentially catastrophic estate taxes.
The free seminar will be held from 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Thursday in the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau boardroom, 475 North Palora Ave., Yuba City.
"The estate tax is a big deal for farmers because their assets are tied up in the land," Megan Foster, executive director of the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau, said last week. "The next generation doesn't have liquidity because the value of the estate is in the family farm. So, when the tax bill comes, they don't have the cash and are often forced to sell off some if not all of their land."
Bevier, with offices in Gold River and Roseville, specializes in estate planning, estate tax planning, and business succession planning.
"We want to be a resource for farming families to plan and do what they can to protect their farm," said Foster. "There are some protections that farmers can put into place, such as special trusts, and that is why YSFB is hosting this seminar on estate tax planning."
In December 2010, the US Congress reinstituted the estate tax for two years, after a one-year hiatus. If Congress fails to act by Dec. 31, the estate tax exemption level will drop from its current $5 million down to $1 million, said a Farm Bureau press release. Everything above that amount will be taxed at 55 percent, raised from the current 35 percent top rate. This will impact countless California farms, according to the Farm Bureau.
Foster said the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau is encouraging local growers to share their experiences in dealing with the estate tax so that the YSFB can work with the California Farm Bureau Federation and the American Farm Bureau Federation on estate tax reform in Congress.