Thread 4 of "reentry shock into normie ag," thoughts from participating in a virtual conference after a year without leaving my local and internet communities. 1/12
There was a moment when it became very clear to me that succession planning, a common topic at ag conferences, for large successful farms is not a question of who will take over the farm so that it makes it, 2/12
but how it will get transferred to the next generation with the least taxes paid and avoiding the dreaded inheritance tax or capital gains taxes, which is a very luxurious problem to have. Farmers very rarely pay much in taxes other than property taxes, 3/12
which are often artificially low due to ag land adjustments. In fact, it’s a well-known thing in the ag world that you will see lots of new equipment delivered to farms in winter because the farm “made too much money,” 4/12
and would have to pay taxes, so they “had to” buy something worth more than most people make in two years to write it off. So if you are wealthy enough to have enough assets that you have to pay inheritance tax(at current levels, I know in the past it was much lower), 5/12
you can surely plan for it, sell some of that fancy equipment or even a small chunk of land to make it work. You may have to pay taxes at some point, but guess what, most people do. 6/12
This is a current hot topic in ag as part of the American Families Plan includes paying for all those big beautiful social safety net features that will reduce child poverty and inequality by changing capital gains taxes and the stepped-up basis provisions. 7/12
Ag is currently losing their shit over this possbility and advertising it as "devastating blows" to ag. This is laughable. The Biden admin has made it perfectly clear that working farms that stay in families will not be subject to these provisions. 8/12
So what are farmers actually freaking out about? The idea that they will have to pay capital gains tax IF they have had over $2million in gains per couple AND they sell it to someone outside the family. 9/12
Read that again. They are selling an asset for well over $2 million and don't think they should have to pay taxes on it. I get all the emotion tied to selling land and that maybe there wasn't much money until the sale, but still. 10/12
This is why I grind my teeth a little when I hear ag talk about being such great members of their community. If this were true, they'd be more willing to contribute in a way that helps the whole community, 11/12
rather than just showing up at the fair to buy a pig from their friend's kid or going to brat frys that support organizations for people like them.

Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of farmers, am one myself, and know some do immense good. But we can do better. 12/12

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More from @n2p39

11 Apr
After a year away from interaction with ag folks that aren't in my immediate community, I competed in a virtual conference and realized a)I have completely forgotten how to communicate with conventional ag and b)I am such an outsider despite being very much an insider. 1/13
It took some time, but I'm going to start sharing some thoughts that hit me hard from that experience. Here we go.

I heard SO many times that week from other producers that ag has a public perception problem. This just isn’t true. Farm Bureau’s own data shows that 88% of 2/13
Americans trust farmers, that’s huge. But because for lots of people food just shows up and they don’t constantly contemplate where it comes from, that’s somehow a problem?

The broken record in ag is “people don’t understand where their food comes from.” 3/13
Read 13 tweets

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