Estate tax fix to help Oregon farmers

Jenson Legislation Protects Family Farms
By Oregon Wheat Grower’s League

Legislation by State Representative Bob Jenson (R-Pendleton) has successfully protected the estates of several local farming families and protected the Jim Boyd Hydroelectric project by passing bills through both chambers of the Legislature that will now move to Governor Ted Kulongoski for his signature. Included in one of the last budget balancing bills of the February session is a Jenson provision that provides tax credits to some 13 Oregon agricultural families that were inadvertently denied lower estate taxes.

Jenson’s amendment to the budget bill protects those families from a drafting error that occurred when the Legislature first provided the family farm estate tax cut in 2007 and amended again in 2008. “This just makes sure these 13 families are treated like everyone else who qualifies for the estate tax relief. It wasn’t fair they were left out and I am grateful to my House and Senate colleagues for being willing to fix this unintended inequity in the law,” said Jenson.

Jenson’s other bill – HB 3602 -was also passed and provides the ability for Umatilla County to transfer ownership rights of the Jim Boyd Hydroelectric Project to a new owner.

The bill’s passage ensures that the county can transfer what were expired rights on the facility and will allow new owners to refurbish and eventually re-open the facility that has been shut down since the 1990’s.

“Our ability to generate local power and provide local businesses with the opportunity to grow from the ground up will continue to help revitalize our local economy,” said Jenson. “This bill allows the county and the new owners to have a fighting chance of getting this facility back up and running, and providing much needed, inexpensive locally-grown energy for our local communities.”

House Speaker Dave Hunt (D-Clackamas County) said Jenson’s strong advocacy for farmers and rural communities in his district resulted in passage of bi-partisan legislation that clearly benefits residents of House District 58.

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