Inheritance Tax Relief Measure Heads to Governor’s Desk
HARRISBURG – A measure to end the financial burden of Pennsylvania’s inheritance tax on surviving farm family members has become part of the 2012-13 state budget package, which was sent to the governor tonight, said Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland).
Bloom’s original bill, House Bill 1864, would exempt transfers of agricultural assets from the Pennsylvania inheritance tax when the receiving heir is a sibling or child of the deceased farmer. The exemption was incorporated into the omnibus Pennsylvania Tax Code bill (House Bill 761) by the Senate this week and passed finally by the House today.
“This measure will prevent the state from continuing to penalize farm families in Pennsylvania during a time when they are most economically vulnerable,” said Bloom. “By eliminating the death tax on transfers of ag assets, we can help farm families keep farming successfully in future generations.”
In addition, Bloom’s initiative would extend the new inheritance tax exemption to farm commodities, such as livestock and crops. It would also exempt from the death tax forest reserves that are passed along from a parent to a child or the parent’s brother or sister.
“This measure is a huge win for Pennsylvania farm families,” said Bloom. “Too many family farms have been divided up and sold when a loved one dies, because surviving family members are unable to pay the burdensome inheritance tax on their farm property.”
The House originally approved Bloom’s measure in December, on a 190-1 bipartisan vote. Companion legislation introduced by Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R-Chester/Delaware) was also amended into the Pennsylvania Tax Code, which was sent to the governor as part of the 2012-13 budget package tonight.
“This was a team effort and I want to commend Senator Pileggi, who spearheaded the death tax relief legislation in the Senate, as well as my colleagues in both chambers and the governor for their leadership on this key issue for Pennsylvania agriculture,” said Bloom.
Under current Pennsylvania law, children who inherit farmland from their parents must pay a 4.5 percent inheritance tax. If the farmland is left to a sibling, the inheritor must pay a 12 percent inheritance tax in Pennsylvania.
“Representative Bloom’s leadership on advancing the inheritance tax exemption for Pennsylvania’s farm families is greatly appreciated by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. This is a landmark achievement that will go far in helping to preserve the future of production agriculture as a leading generator of economic activity in the state,” said Joel Rotz, director of state governmental relations for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.
Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to sign the final legislation in connection with the state budget by the June 30 deadline.
State Representative Stephen Bloom
199th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Fosnot