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Nebraska tax tidbit: beginning farmers

Nebraska flag If you're a football fan, you've seen those corn cob hats that University of Nebraska fans wear. If you're a fan of another Big 12 team, you've probably laughed at the stadium haberdashery. 

But Cornhuskers isn't just the sports teams' nickname. It's a representation of agriculture's importance to the entire state.

That's also evident on the Nebraska personal income tax form, where on line 32 you'll find the Beginning Farmer Credit.

This credit is part of the Beginning Farmer Program, which was created in 1999 because fewer Nebraska young people were going into farming. From 1987 to 1997, according to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, the number of farms operated by full-time farmers dropped more than 21 percent; meanwhile, the average age of farmers increased from 49.4 to 52.5 years old.

Now, both current farmers and ranchers and the eligible new farmers and ranchers to whom they provide support get tax incentives.

The new farmers and ranchers get up to $500 tax credit reimbursement for the program's required financial management class. They also may apply for the Personal Property Tax Exemption.

Those who provide the assistance, including land, equipment, livestock, or other agricultural amenities they rent or otherwise make available to someone just getting started in the business, can apply for a refundable tax credit for their contributions.

There's no indication, though, as to whether the new or current farmers and ranchers get a complimentary Cornhuskers hat.

Tax trip around the United States: This post is part of our series highlighting tax information from the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. You can read other state tax blurbs at our Complete menu of tasty state tax tidbits.

The State Tax Departments page provides links to official state and District of Columbia revenue Web sites so that you can find out more about your home's tax laws and filing requirements.

As we work through the 2010 tax season, a different state will be featured each day as noted in Don't forget your state taxes! Check back to see what tax tidbit we share about your home.

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