Monday, August 16, 2021
On Friday, September 3, I will be hosting an “Ag Law Summit” at Nebraska’s Mahoney State Park. This one-day conference will address numerous legal and tax issues of current relevance. The conference will also be broadcast live online.
The Ag Law Summit – it’s the topic of today’s post.
Topics and Speakers
Proposed legislation and policy implications. The day begins with my overview of what’s happening with proposed legislation that would impact farm and ranch estate and business and income tax planning. Many proposals are being discussed that would dramatically change the tax and transfer planning landscape. From the proposed lowering of the federal estate tax exemption, to the change in the step-up basis rule at death, to changes in the rules governing gifts, there is plenty to discuss. But, the list goes on. What about income tax rates and exemptions? What about capital gain rates? There are huge implications if any of these changes are made, let alone all of them. What does the road forward for ag producers look like? What changes need to be made to keep the family farm intact? The discussion during this session should be intense!
State ag law update. Following my discussion of what is going on at the federal level, the discussion turns to the state level. Jeff Jarecki, an attorney with Jarecki Lay & Sharp P.C. out of Albion and Columbus, NE will team up with Katie Weichman Zulkoski to teach this session. Katie is a lawyer in Lincoln, NE that works in lobbying and government affairs. They will provide a NE legislative update specific to agriculture and review significant federal developments that impact agriculture – including the current Administration’s proposed 30 by 30 plan.
Farm succession planning. After the morning break. Dan Waters, a partner in the Lamson, Dugan & Murray firm in Omaha will get into the details of the mechanics of transitioning a farming/ranching business to subsequent generations. How do you deal with uncertainty in the factors that surround estate and business planning such as commodity prices, land values, taxation, and government programs? This session will examine various case studies and the use of certain tools to address the continuity question.
Luncheon. During the catered lunch, the speaker is Janet Bailey. Janet has been involved in ag and food policy issues for many years and has an understanding of rural issues. Her presentation will be addressed to legal and tax professionals that represent rural clients. How can you maintain a vibrant practice in a rural community? What other value does a rural practice bring to the local area? The session’s focus is on the importance of tax and legal professionals to small towns in the Midwest and Plains.
Special use valuation. If the federal estate tax exemption is reduced, the ability to value the ag land in a decedent’s estate at it’s value for ag purposes rather than fair market value will increase in importance. During this session, I will provide an overview of the key points involved in this very complex provision of the tax Code. What steps need to be taken now to ensure that the eventual decedent’s estate qualifies to make the special use valuation election on the federal estate tax return? How do farmland leases impact the qualification for the election and avoidance of recapture tax being imposed? Those are just a couple of the topics that will be addressed.
Ag entrepreneur’s toolkit. This final session for the day will cover the business and tax law feature of limited liability companies. The session is taught by Prof. Ed Morse of the Creighton University School of Law and Colten Venteicher, an attorney with the Bacon, Vinton, Venteicher firm in Gothenburg, Nebraska. They will address some of the practical considerations for how to properly use the LLC in the context of farm and ranch businesses.
The Summit will be broadcast online for those unable to attend in-person. Washburn Law is an NASBA CPE provider. The program will qualify in the taxes area for the minutes noted next to each presentation for both the online and in-person attendees. The goal of the Summit is tto continue providing good legal and tax educational information for practitioners with a rural client base. That will aid in the provision of excellent legal and tax services for those rural clients and will, in turn, benefit the associated rural communities.
We hope that you will join us either in-person or online for the Summit on September 3. For more information and to register, click here: https://www.washburnlaw.edu/employers/cle/aglawsummit.html