What the New Tax Law Means for Agriculture

New article May 16, 2018 by Farm Credit Bank of Texas (land.com)

The largest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in three decades went into effect this year, impacting farmers, ranchers and other rural landowners in a variety of ways. For the most part, financial experts anticipate benefits for these groups.

“The 2018 tax law changes include several items that I feel will be beneficial to agricultural producers,” says Burl Lowery, a Brownwood, Texas, certified public accountant and director of Central Texas Farm Credit. “The increase in the exemption in estate and generation-skipping taxes to $11.2 million in 2018 will allow more farmland to be passed to future generations with less or no estate tax.”  READ ARTICLE

Greater Sage Grouse

Tuesday morning, at 9am, Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell made the announcement that the Greater Sage Grouse will not be listed on the endangered species list. “This is truly a historic day in the history of the American West cattle business,” said Oregon Cattlemen’s Executive Director Jerome Rosa. “Through collaborative efforts by ranchers, energy companies and conservationist reducing the decline of the sage grouse habitat in 11 Western states, the need for a listing was not needed.”  See entire article at AgWeb.com.

Developments in 2016 Texas Land Markets

Clift Land Brokers was well represented at the 27th Annual Outlook for Texas Land Markets in San Antonio in April. As usual, a lot of great information came out of this conference. One highlight was the presentation by Dr. Charles E. Gilliland,  PhD, Research Economist for Texas A & M University Real Estate Center on Texas Land Values. Click here for a copy of that presentation. 

While 2017 1st quarter land values were up statewide 1.8% over 2016 4th quarter, and while other regions showed an increase, Region 1 – TX Panhandle and South Plains Region was down 3.4% over the end of last year. There was too much good information to cover on this forum, so be sure to download Dr. Gilliland’s presentation.

Texas Land Value Trends 2016

Crop Insurance Priority 1

Crop Insurance: Priority #1, by Agri-Pulse Communications

No matter who wins this November’s presidential election, one of the first items facing a new Secretary of Agriculture will be developing a 2018 farm bill, a process sure to begin early in 2017. As we start that effort, it is worth noting that for all its rich diversity, American agriculture seems to be united behind a few large overarching issues: coordinated and scientific regulatory policy by EPA, FDA, and USDA; healthy trade promotion; biotechnology; and farm labor issues, including immigration.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

 

Texas Real Estate Attorney Hammers WOTUS Reg

LandOwner Newsletter Vol 37 Issue 9 May 12, 2016

Texas Real Estate Attorney Hammers WOTUS Reg
A court stay is the only wall standing between landowner property rights and a federal takeover of most of the nation’s land, says Judon Fambrough, an attorney with the Teal Estate Center at Texas A & M University. The result of the waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) means “the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction now extends well beyond the navigable waters of the U.S. to practically all waters if implemented,” says Fambrough.

“If implemented, it would freeze all land use in place at the time of the implementation. That means if you want to make any sort of change in the way you use your land, you will need to file for a permit with the EPA and Corps, which is estimated to take up to three years and cost $250,000 to obtain,” he explains. “If you don’t obtain a permit, you are subject to a fine of $37,500 per day until land is returned to its original use.”  READ article

1031 Exchange Trends for 2016

From the 1031 Insider Newsletter, IPX Investment Property Exchange Services, Inc. January, 2016

FIRPTA – What the Change to FIRPTA Withholding Means for You
Under current federal law, if a foreign person sells US real property, the buyer is obligated to withhold 10% of the gross sales price and remit this to the IRS. Pursuant to the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, however, which became law on December 18, 2015 (the “PATH Act”), the required 10% withholding will increase to 15% for all closings occurring on or after February 16, 2016. There is an exception to the increase for sales of a personal residence wherein the sales price is between $300,001 and $1,000,000. Under this circumstance, the 10% withholding rate continues to apply. In summary:

If the sales price is $300,000 or less AND the buyer will use as a personal residence – No change, exempt from withholding.
For all other real estate sales the buyer must withhold 15% of the sales price of the real estate (10% if a personal residence with a sale price between $300,001 and $1,000,000) and send it to the IRS within 20 days after the date of transfer.

1031 Tax Reform Update
The most important news for the Section 1031 community coming out of the year-end tax and budget bills was the absence of any mention of §1031 as a “pay-for” for any of the expenditures in those bills. These are expensive bills, so non-mention of §1031 is a big win for all of us that have been so engaged in the campaign to increase the level of awareness that like-kind exchanges are not a loop-hole, but rather an important economic stimulator. Our major concern has been, and continues to be, that elimination of §1031 may be cherry-picked to pay for reduced tax rates and other governmental costs.

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EPA Raises Renewable Fuel Requirements

EPA Raises Renewable Fuel Requirements

Agriculture, ethanol industry welcome certainty of final rule, but say required volume is too low.
After years of delays, EPA on Monday finally released the renewable fuel standards for 2014, 2015, and most importantly, 2016.

The rule calls for a total of 18.11 billion gallons of renewable fuel in 2016, with targeted growth expected in categories such as:

cellulosic biofuel (230 million gallons in 2016).
biomass-based diesel (1.9 billion gallons in 2016 and 2 billion gallons in 2017).
advanced biofuel (3.16 billion gallons in 2016).

READ MORE

AgWeb.com

Feds to Require Drone Registration

Feds to Require Drone Registration. The Obama administration — in a bid to start tracking personal drones and address safety concerns in advance of a holiday season when the industry projects thousands more will be sold — announced Monday it will require the registration of drone aircraft, even for “consumers and hobbyists.”

The decision is meant in part to address the growing number of reported close calls and incidents that pose safety risks. Pilot sightings of drones have doubled since last year, including sightings near planes and major sporting events.

Federal Aviation Administration chief Michel Huerta said registration will increase pressure on operators to fly responsibly, adding “there will be consequences” when they don’t.

See Full Report on Fox News