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State ag department begins tax credit program for urban farms

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A new Missouri Department of Agriculture program is now accepting applications for a tax credit program launched to promote investment in urban farms.

MDA spokesperson Christi Miller said the Urban Farm Investment Tax Credit program is a new department offering administered through the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority. It provides tax credits to urban farmers desiring to invest in their operation by purchasing equipment and making improvements to their farm, according to a news release.

“Urban agriculture plays a role in the availability of fresh, local produce in urban areas of Missouri,” MASBDA Executive Director Jill Wood said in the release. “This program may be used by both new and existing producers focused on providing food to the public.”

Individuals who donate funds to an urban farm also may qualify for a tax credit, if the donation is used for eligible expenses. Taxpayers may receive a tax credit of up to 50% of eligible expenses, or the donation amount, not to exceed $5,000 per taxpayer per year. The total amount of tax credits authorized for taxpayers on any given urban farm cannot exceed $25,000, according to MDA’s website.

Any tax credit that can’t be claimed in the tax year in which the eligible expenses were incurred may be carried over to the next three succeeding tax years until the full credit is claimed.

Eligible urban areas in southwest Missouri include Springfield, Bolivar, Branson, Marshfield, Republic and Willard, according to the MDA. A full list of eligible areas, program information and applications are available at the state agency’s website.

The new program arrives as owners of Springfield’s Urban Roots LLC announced plans in August to pause growing on its 13-year-old farm, which sits on a 1.7-acre West Central neighborhood property at 831 W. State St., according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

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