Minnesota young farmers group sees progress
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A leader of a young farmers group in Minnesota says he's encouraged that a proposal to help beginning farmers with tax credits has taken another step forward, even though its ultimate fate is still uncertain.
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A leader of a young farmers group in Minnesota says he's encouraged that a proposal to help beginning farmers with tax credits has taken another step forward, even though its ultimate fate is still uncertain.
"This is the furthest this kind of proposal has ever advanced," says Matthew Fitzgerald, a Glencoe, Minn., farmer and co-founder of the Central Minnesota Young Farmers Coalition.
The proposal, which would give landowners a state income tax credit when they sell or rent land to a beginning farmer, was included in the Minnesota House and Senate tax bill agreement released Monday. The agreement now will go into negotiations with the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton.
A decision on the tax bill - and on the fate of the beginning farmer tax credit proposal - is not expected to be reached for several weeks.
Fitzgerald says his understanding is, "There's a two- to three-week window to get this done." He also says he's optimistic that legislators and the Dayton administration will approve the proposal.
The proposal enjoys bipartisan support in the Legislature, as well as as broad support from major ag groups, he says.
Young and beginning farmers face many challenges, with access to land at the top of the list, Fitzgerald says. His group, which has members in nine counties, estimates that nearly 400 Minnesota farmers would be helped in the first year alone if the proposal is approved.
The proposal can be found at this link: " target="_blank">www.house.leg.state.mn.us/comm/docs/9a44b71c-feed-4f47-a849-fb3525cce316.pdf.