Pennsylvania Eliminates State Inheritance Tax for Farms

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
American Gothic by Grant Wood, 1930
Pennsylvania has adopted legislation intended to help relatives of dead farmers from having to sell off farms they inherit just to pay taxes owed.
The new law, approved overwhelmingly by the state legislature in bipartisan votes, exempts adult children of deceased farmers from paying a 4.5% inheritance tax. It also eliminates the burden on siblings of the deceased who used to pay a 12% inheritance tax.
The inheritance tax “was especially challenging for farmers, who typically have low cash reserves but need large amounts of land for their operations,” Farm Bureau President Carl Shaffer told the American Agriculturist. “When farmers are forced to sell off assets or farmland to pay off inheritance taxes, it reduces the productivity of the farm and threatens its future viability.”
Denny Ilyes, who owns Twin Pine Farms in North Codorus Township, told the York Daily Record: “This is a big victory for family farms.”
“These little farms were forced to sell some of their land to pay inheritance tax,” he added. “The land ended up going to a developer and the farming part was lost forever.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
State Eliminates Inheritance Tax for Working Farms (by Lauren Boyer, York Daily Record)

State Wipes out Inheritance Tax for Farmers (by Gary Weckselblatt, Philadelphia Intelligencer) 


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