Gordner Legislation to Strengthen the Family Farm Passes Committee

(HARRISBURG) – – The state Senate Finance Committee today unanimously approved legislation authored by Senator John R. Gordner (R-27) that clarifies a 2012 law that exempts family farms from the state inheritance tax. Senate Bill 580 now goes before the full Senate for consideration.

“Prior to 2012, some family farms had to be sold by heirs to meet the inheritance tax burden, when otherwise the family would have been interested in continuing the operation,” said Senator Gordner. “We took an important step that year by enacting the exemption, which allows many families to remain in agriculture, rather than selling the farm to a corporate farming entity or developer.”

However, in interpreting the statute, the state Department of Revenue did not apply the exemption when some farm families managed their ownership and estate planning interests through family trusts or family corporations. Senate Bill 580 clarifies that such entities do qualify for the exemption. Large corporate farms would not qualify for the exemption.

Senate Bill 580 is strongly supported by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and other agricultural groups.

CONTACT: Todd B. Roup (717)787-8928