SHIPPENSBURG, Pa., Aug. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today visited a third generation dairy farm to talk about the impact of exempting family farm real estate from the Pennsylvania inheritance tax. The landmark legislation recently signed ends a decades-long burden for Pennsylvania farm families.
The legislation makes it easier for farmers to pass their real estate on to their heirs. They no longer have to worry about paying steep "death taxes" to keep them in the family.
Governor Corbett visited Gro-Lan Farms in Shippensburg which has been in the Grove family for nearly 100 years. He was joined by Agriculture Secretary George Greig, the farm owners as well as the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Pennsylvania FFA Association and Pennsylvania 4-H.
"This bill is about saving a family dream, a family legacy and a family way of life," Corbett said. "When generations invest so much of themselves in our state, we owe it to them to guarantee them another 100 years and beyond if that is what they want."
Previously when a landowner died, heirs to the farm real estate had to pay an inheritance tax of 4.5 percent if they were adult children and 12 percent if they were siblings of the deceased. The new law applies only to working farms.
"Farms are valuable and the land is worth a great deal, but that does not mean a family is rich," Corbett said. "This tax was making it extremely difficult for farmers to pass down their family business."
"The exemption of family farm real estate from the inheritance tax provides farmers the opportunity to save thousands of dollars to reinvest in their agricultural operations," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "With this, Governor Corbett solidified his commitment to Pennsylvania farm families, allowing farmers to keep farming for generations."
Agriculture is the number one industry in Pennsylvania with more than 63,000 farm families and 7.65 million acres of farmland, generating $5.7 billion in cash receipts.
For more information, visit www.pa.gov.
Media contact: Kirsten Page, 717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor