Bill Eshenbaugh attended the National Land Conference held by Realtors Land Institute in Tucson, AZ in March. This year’s attendance topped 300 real estate professionals from all over the country, there to learn what’s in store throughout the nation.
The reports from around the country were the same; with interest rates holding, consumers are still reluctant to buy a new home and credit restraints are still preventing first time buyers from stepping up to purchase. As oil prices have fallen, so have corn prices since much of the corn is dedicated to ethanol production. Droughts in the southwest and California are forcing beef producers to sell off herds and farmers to reduce their production of vegetables. Water runoff and environmental regulations in California, combined with high land prices, have pushed a lot of the dairy operations out of that state and into Oregon and Washington.
Realtors Land Institute leaders are very concerned that Congress will rush tax reform that will eliminate the tax deferral provisions (referred to as a 1031 exchange) and this will have a dramatic impact on the sale of family farms if all the gains are taxed upon the sale rather than deferring the gains into the purchase of a replacement farm or like-kind of real estate.