Nebraska Inheritance Tax

As you may know, Nebraska levies an inheritance tax upon beneficiaries of a decedent who owned Nebraska property.  As background, the Nebraska inheritance tax is a state law but the tax itself is paid to the county in which the property is located.  The inheritance tax is applicable to real and personal property.  That means tax is due on items such as cash, vehicles, and real estate.  The inheritance tax is also due on life insurance proceeds if the proceeds are paid to the estate.

How much will you owe in inheritance tax?  It depends upon your relationship with the decedent.

  • If you are a surviving spouse or charity, no inheritance tax is due.
  • If you are an immediate relative, defined as parents, grandparents, siblings, children (including children legally adopted), any other lineal descendent such as a grandchild (including those legally adopted), any person to whom the decedent for not less than ten years prior to death stood in the acknowledged relation of a parent, or the spouse or surviving spouse of any such persons, a 1% inheritance tax is due and each person receives a $40,000 exemption from the inheritance tax.
  • If you are a remote relative, such as an aunt, uncle, niece or nephew related by blood or legal adoption, or other lineal descendants of the same, or the spouse or surviving spouse of any of such persons, a 13% inheritance tax is due and each person receives a $15,000 exemption from the inheritance tax.
  • If you do not fall into the above categories, a 18% inheritance tax is due and each person receives a $10,000 exemption from the inheritance tax.

The inheritance tax worksheet is due 12 months after the decedent’s death and is submitted to the county court where the decedent resided or where the property is located.  And the tax is due regardless of whether you or the decedent was a Nebraska resident.   The question is whether the property was located in the Nebraska.  If the property is in Nebraska, the tax is due.

Don’t let the inheritance tax take you and/or your beneficiaries by surprise.  We’re happy to provide more information, especially for Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers; you just have to contact us!

Nebraska Wetland Conservation Easement Sign-Up

Nebraska NRCS has announced it is now accepting applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP), specifically for wetlands reserve easements.  The applications will be rated according to the easement’s potential to protect and enhance habitat for migratory birds, fish, and other wildlife.  Applicants will be compensated with a payment rate comparable to local land use value.  (Click here and scroll down to ‘Wetland Reserve Easements’ to find a .pdf file listing the payment rates.)

Applications can be submitted at any time but applications for 2014 funding are due by June 6, 2014.  Note that applicants will need to provide accurate records of ownership and make certain s/he have established a record of ownership with FSA.  Information on the application process, including the application itself, is available here.

NRCS is committed to working with interested applicants through the process of applying for ACEP and creating an easement that works best for the farming operation.  You are also welcome to contact us if you need further information or help!

Nebraska Industrial Hemp Production Legislation

The Nebraska Legislature has wrapped up the latest legislative session and one of the bill’s receiving attention is LB 1001.  LB 1001 permits the production and marketing of industrial hemp.  But before you get too excited and think about converting some fields to the production of industrial hemp, a review of LB 1001 and the 2014 Farm Bill are necessary.

The 2014 Farm Bill carved out an exemption to federal drug laws for industrial hemp: if a state has legislation that permits colleges and universities to grow industrial hemp for research purposes, such a purpose is legal under federal law.

Until recently, Nebraska did not have such a law.  LB 1001, signed by the Governor on April 2, 2014, now permits a Nebraska post-secondary institution (that is, a college or university) or the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp if it is grown for purposes of research.

Other states, such as Colorado, permit farmers to grow industrial hemp.  The hurdles and logistical complications are many.  And LB 1001 does not permit the scale of cultivation that Colorado does.

Is industrial hemp production in the future for Nebraska’s farmers?  Perhaps but much is unknown at this point.  If interested in the cultivation of industrial hemp, perhaps the best first step is researching and investigating: (1) marketing and development opportunities, and (2) the best practices for growing industrial hemp.  That way, should industrial hemp cultivation and production come to Nebraska, you will be prepared to make a decision on whether to integrate it into your operation.

If you have any questions about the significance of LB 1001, you are welcome to contact us!

New Generations Legacy program

This week, we continue to highlight the work of our partner the Center for Rural Affairs.  The Center is launching a new program to help more beginning farmers and ranchers land access.

The New Generations Legacy program will receive agricultural land from interested donors.  The land will then be rented to qualified beginning farmers and/or ranchers.  As the beginner becomes established, s/he will have the option to purchase the land.

Beginners will be qualified based upon financial need, reasonable acreage limitations, and an agreement to practice sustainable agricultural practices.

The New Generations Legacy program is a nationwide program.  As such, the Center will attempt to assist qualified beginners who live near donated land.

For more information, contact Hank Rohling at the Center for Rural Affairs.  The New Generations Legacy program is an exciting step for both landowners interested in creating a legacy in their communities and beginners to expand and build upon that legacy and create a legacy of their own.

Aspiring Women Farmers — Mentorships Available!

Our friend and partner, the Center for Rural Affairs, currently has a wonderful opportunity for aspiring women farmers.  If you are an aspiring woman farmer, and are looking for a mentor or vice versa, the Center is your matchmaker.

The Center is working with the Women, Food and Agriculture Network in Iowa to launch learning and mentorship opportunities for women who want hands-on experience and advice about farming and ranching.  The Center is interested in hearing from both aspiring women farmers and established women farmers.  Contact Virginia Meyer at the Center for Rural Affairs; you can reach her at or 402-687-2103 extension 1014.

Grass Fed Small and Very Small Producer Program

Do you market 49 or less grass-fed cattle per year?  If so, you may be interested in the Grass Fed Program for Small and Very Small Producers.  The Program is a verification tool for producers to certify that animals meet the requirements of the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Grass (Forage) Fed Marketing Claim Standard.

The purpose of the Program is to allow small and very small producers a means to market their calves or market ready cattle as USDA Certified grass-fed.  The Agricultural Marketing Service will review the documentation and plan submitted by the producer and, if sufficient, will approve the producer and the cattle at that location as meeting the requirements of the Grass (Forage) Fed Marketing Claim Standard.

The Program is a less costly application process for small and very small producers.  The application costs $108.00 and certification is for a two-year period.  After certification, marketing as USDA Certified grass-fed beef is possible, along with the marketing advantages that come with the certification.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below!

Conservation Easement Funding Deadline Announced

As part of the 2014 Farm Bill, the Wetlands Reserve Program, Grassland Reserve Program, and Farm and Ranch land Program were combined to create the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).  On May 1, 2014, the USDA announced it is now accepting applications for ACEP.  Applications must be submitted by the individual state deadline or June 6, 2014, whichever is earlier.  (Contact your local NRCS to determine the state deadline.)

ACEP has two components: (1) wetlands easement and (2) agricultural land easement component.  The wetlands easement component, for the most part, is a mirror of the Wetlands Reserve Program.  The agricultural land easement component is intended to retain the purposes and functions of the Grassland Reserve Program and Farm and Ranch land Program.

For agricultural land easements, NRCS is providing funds to eligible entities to buy easements to protect working farms and ranches and conserve and protect grassland (which includes, rangeland, pastureland, and shrub land).  NRCS may contribute up to 50% for the fair market value for purchase of the easement.  If the NRCS determines the grasslands are of special environmental significant, NRCS may contribute up to 75% of the fair market value.  NRCS has announced that it will give priority to proposals which present conversion of productive working land to non-agricultural uses and maximizes the protection of land devoted to growing the nation’s food supply.  Additionally, the 2014 Farm Bill authorizes prioritization of applications which include grassland acres which will expire from the CRP within one year.

For wetlands easements, the USDA is providing funding to landowners to purchase long-term or permanents easements to restore, protect, and enhance wetland values and functions on eligible wetland which has been in agricultural production.  NRCS will prioritize applications based upon the wetland easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing the habitat for migratory birds, fish, and other wildlife.  Like agricultural easements, the 2014 Farm Bill authorizes prioritization of applications that include valuable wetland acres that will expire from CRP within one year and are likely to return to production.

For more information on ACEP, take a look at the NRCS webpage dedicated to ACEP.  And as always, you are welcome to contact us!