Passage of Beginning Farmer Tax Credit and Property Taxpayer Protections to Provide Opportunities for Young and Beginning Farmers

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), Iowa’s largest grassroots farm organization, saw the passage of several bills addressing important issues for Iowa’s farm families with the conclusion of the 2019 legislative session. 

Creating a bright future for agriculture and strong rural communities has long been the mission of the IFBF.  The Beginning Farmer Tax Credit is an important tool to support the next generation and help beginning farmers access farmland. Iowa Farm Bureau members appreciate the legislature improving the program and increasing the tax credit to previous funding levels. 

One of the biggest challenges beginning farmers face is accessing farmland to start or grow their farms, so the passage of House File 778 protects and enhances capital gains deductions for the sale of farmland into the future – removing disincentives to sell farmland.  The legislature also took steps to create a level playing field for farmers looking to purchase land, helping to ensure that private entities don’t utilize taxpayer dollars for a competitive advantage over farmers.   

“Transitioning the family farm to the next generation is a challenge, but it’s a common goal of Iowa’s farm families,” says IFBF President Craig Hill.  “Easing the burden on farm succession and transitioning to the next generation ensures opportunities critical to the sustainability of Iowa agriculture and rural communities. We are grateful the legislature recognized and took important steps this session for our beginning farmers to remove some hurdles to farm transition, while protecting taxpayers.”    

With a strong track record protecting property taxpayers, Farm Bureau applauds the legislature’s actions this session, including the extension of the SAVE sales tax for school infrastructure, and passage of a property tax bill that will create accountability and transparency when local governments increase property taxes.  

“With on-farm income down more than 50 percent over the past five years, keeping the family farm sustainable is a top priority for Iowa farm families,” says Hill.  “We are thankful the legislature recognizes the importance of agriculture to the state and the value of strong rural communities. Farm Bureau appreciates their efforts this year to support Iowa’s most important economic driver, responsible for one in five Iowa jobs.”