One of the barriers that make it hard for people to hand down the family farm in New York is the low threshold for estate tax exemptions.
Federally, estate taxes don’t kick in until the $5 million level. But in New York, the limit is $1 million. That might sound like a lot of money, but Farm Bureau President Dean Norton pointed out that a 250-acre farm today might be worth that much just based on land prices.
It’s time for New York to catch up with the feds on this one.
As Norton said after the federal guidelines were changed in 2010, “the estate tax encourages people to sell land to pay the tax, so a family faces losing their business and assets while they are still reeling from the loss of a family member.”
That’s a decision that no one should have to make.