Farmers who sell land to beginning farmers could soon become exempt from paying capitol-gains taxes on the sale if a Nebraska representative has his way.

Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., plans to introduce "The Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Tax Incentive Act" (H.R. 2978) soon. The bill calls for an exemption from capitol-gains taxes for producers who sell their agricultural land to a beginning farmer or rancher who is a first-time buyer. Even if the buyer is not a beginning producer, as long as land remains in ag production the seller would still receive a 50 percent capital-gains reduction.

Terry is introducing the bill because he is concerned about the declining number of farms and ranches. "There are nearly five times as many farm operators over age 75 as there are under age 25," says Terry. "This plan aims to increase the number of young farmers and ranchers, while keeping more of the nation's agricultural land in production."

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