Lewison: Capital Gains Tax Will Have A Direct Impact On Washington Farmers

During the 2021 legislative session, Washington lawmakers passed a new capital gains tax; a tax that will be challenged in court. Pam Lewison with the Washington Policy Center said with no exemptions for farm lands, the tax will have severe impacts on producers statewide.

“Anyone who tracks the value of farmland should be well aware that $250,000 is not a hard mark to reach. When you look at the market, and what folks are having to do to occasionally fund their operation, I suspect we’ll start to see some uptick in those farmland sales.” 

Already, two lawsuits against the new tax have been filed, both in Douglas County. And more suits are possible.

Lewison added a lot of lawmakers were told about potential issues with the legislation, and its impact on the farming community, but they either pushed those concerns to the future, or expressed a belief that farming is not a full-time job.

“What will happen is that you’ll see a great many farms try to figure out a way to restructure themselves in a protective manner to better navigate how to keep land ownership in the family for lack of a better description.”

It’s anticipated that these lawsuits will eventually make it to the state Supreme Court, which will make the final decision.

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