Proposed credit benefits veterans looking to start farming

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Jordan Rasmussen, policy associate,, 402.687.2100 ext 1032; or Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager,, 402.687.2100 ext 1025

Lyons, Neb. - Officials in rural areas of Nebraska continuously seek ways to attract residents to their communities and into the agricultural sector. Now, military veterans may soon have an extra incentive to call these communities home.

During the 2018 state legislative session, Sen. Carol Blood, of Bellevue, will introduce the Beginning Veteran Farmer Tax Credit. The bill seeks to expand Nebraska’s existing beginning farmer tax credit program by adding a 1 percent incentive for property and landowners who rent to a qualified beginning veteran farmer.

“A veteran’s sense of service and work ethic draw a distinct parallel to the skills and dedication required for successful farming and ranching,” said Jordan Rasmussen, policy associate with the Center for Rural Affairs. “However, access to the land and financial resources needed to transition from military service to farming can be a challenge.”

Under current statute, a 10 percent tax credit on cash rent, or 15 percent credit on the value of a sharecrop or cow-calf share rent, is available to the property owner when they rent to a qualified beginning farmer. The proposed revision would increase the incentive to 11 percent and 16 percent if the property is rented to a qualified beginning veteran farmer.

“By encouraging agricultural property owners to rent to veterans, they are more readily able to pursue farming,” Rasmussen said. “As farmers and landowners look to transition their operations, renting to a beginning veteran farmer is not only an investment in an individual but also an investment in rural communities and the state’s economy.”

The Beginning Veteran Farmer Tax Credit will be introduced as part of Sen. Blood’s Military Families Initiative for Nebraska legislative package.

The Center for Rural Affairs understands the challenges beginning veteran farmers and ranchers face, and has endorsed the Beginning Veteran Farmer Tax Credit.