Friends of Family Farmers – Promoting and Protecting Socially Responsible Farming in Oregon.

 

Law, Tax, and Succession

The time spent navigating the legal and regulatory aspects of managing a farm business can make a farmer wonder when there’ll be time to actually “farm”.  There is no substitute for the advice of an attorney, and by making these resources available, Friends of Family Farmers is not in any way providing legal advice.  But the sites and guides below at least provide a broad understanding of many legal, taxation and business issues that all farmers face.

Professionals:

  • cows-on-pastureAdvisor Search from Austin Family Business Center offers a list of recommended accountants, attorneys, financial planners, construction firms, insurance providers, and marketing consultants serving Oregon small businesses.
  • Farm Commons provides business legal services to farmers, creates useful legal education resources, and educates attorneys on issues relating to community-based farmers around the country.
  • Farmer to Consumer Legal Defense Fund – advocates for farmers and producers of artisan and raw foods in food safety challenges

Informational Warehouses and General Guides

Environmental Environmental Laws Affecting State Agriculture – From the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Research Foundation (NASDA)

Licensing Licenses and Requirements – Oregon Department of Agriculture

Taxation

Rural Tax Education: from USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), this site is a resource for agricultural related income and self-employment tax information, including the Small Farm Tax Guide

Tax Deferral on Non-EFU Land
This tax deferral applies only to land not zoned EFU.  The income requirement for the farming deferral is to gross $650 for 6.5 acres or fewer, and an additional $100 gross per acre, up to $3,000 gross total (30 acres).  You have to gross this amount for 3 out of the past 5 years, and prove that you have done farm activities on the farm for the current year and previous two.  If you qualify, the taxes are based on the income potential of the land for farming purposes, rather than fair market value. To apply.
To apply, contact your county assessor and fill out a questionnaire before April 1st of the year.
See also:
Taxation of Farmland Not Zoned for Exclusive Farm Use, from the Oregon Department of Revenue, and
Property Tax Special Assessments from ODA
Tax Deferral on Non-EFU Land
This tax deferral applies only to land not zoned EFU.  The income requirement for the farming deferral is to gross $650 for 6.5 acres or fewer, and an additional $100 gross per acre, up to $3,000 gross total (30 acres).  You must have grossed at least this amount for 3 out of the past 5 years, and prove that you have done farm activities on the farm for the current year and previous two.  If you qualify, the taxes are based on the income potential of the land for farming purposes, rather than fair market value.
To apply, contact your county assessor and fill out a questionnaire before April 1st of the year.  See also Taxation of Farmland Not Zoned for Exclusive Farm Use, from the Oregon Department of Revenue.

Note that the Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Management Program (WHCMP), administered by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and available through numerous Oregon Watershed Districts, is an additional incentive for private landowners who want to provide wildlife habitat on their properties instead of, or in addition to, farming, growing timber or other land uses.  Under the habitat program, land subject to an approved wildlife habitat conservation and management plan receives a wildlife habitat special assessment, where property taxes are assessed at the relatively low value that would apply if the land were being farmed or used for commercial forestry.

Succession Planning

Law and Policy Blogs

Related Resource Pages

Business Planning>>>

Employment and Internships>>>

Finding and Purchasing Farmland>>>

Marketing and Distribution>>>

Risk Management and Food Safety>>>

*Friends of Family Farmers provides these resources solely for educational purposes. Friends of Family Farmers neither favors nor endorses any of the organizations listed on this website, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed on the hyperlinked external sites.*


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Friends of Family Farmers. 249 Liberty NE Suite 212, Salem, OR 97301. info@friendsoffamilyfarmers.org. © 2008