Inheritance tax relief for farmers in Marcello bill

Inheritance tax relief for farmers in Marcello bill

SCITUATE - Owners of large tracts of land they want to pass on to their heirs without paying excessive estate taxes have been given relief, thanks to an amendment to the state FY2014 budget successfully proposed by state Rep. Michael Marcello.

Marcello, a former town councilor who represents District 41 in Scituate and western Cranston, said the amendment is something local farmers have wanted for years. "It's a long time coming," he told The Valley Breeze & Observer.

The amendment is in Article 9, Section 11 of the budget, and reads in part: "all farmland ... included as part of an estate ... and utilized by the executor, administrator, heir-at-law, beneficiary or trustee as farmland, shall be appraised at its use value according to applicable federal and state law and not at its full and fair cash value."

Now, when a land owner dies and his or her property is assessed for estate tax purposes, such land is "assessed at its highest and best use, usually house lots," Marcello explained.

Heirs often "wind up having to sell part of it to pay the taxes."

The change took effect with the new budget at the July 1 start of the fiscal year.

Land owners in all parts of the state stand to benefit from the change, Marcello noted, not only those in his district.