Beginning veteran farmers benefit from proposed tax credit

A veteran’s sense of service and work ethic draws a distinct parallel to the skills and dedication required for successful farming and ranching. However, access to the land and financial resources needed to transition from military service to farming can be a challenge.

Last week, state lawmakers introduced the Beginning Veteran Farmer Tax Credit that could provide an incentive to those veterans. 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.

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. 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 was introduced by Sen. Carol Blood as part of the 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.