Farm Like A Billionaire–Harvest Tax Breaks – Forbes
Billionaires Michael Dell, Donald Newhouse and Michael Price have done it. So, too, has former President George W. Bush. If you’ve got extra acres surrounding your primary or vacation home, you might be able to do it, too: Declare your backyard a farm or a wildlife preserve and harvest real estate tax breaks and maybe income tax savings, too.
Who knows? You might discover a passion for farming and/or make a profit.
David Braff, a top litigator at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City, and his partner, Niko Christou, a photographer, were weekending in Bucks County, Pa. when they fell in love with a stone farmhouse, built circa 1780, on 30 acres of land. The owner ran an antique shop, while a tenant farmer grew corn.
After Braff bought the property for $1.5 million in 2000, the men were inspired by the lavender fields of Provence to plant four varieties of the plant over 8 acres, creating a setting so spectacular that Lands’ End rented the farm for a month for a catalog shoot. On weekdays Carousel Farm Lavender, LLC runs tours at $10 a head. On farm-stand Saturdays it sells lavender oil, distilled in an original corn crib, plus sachets, soaps, candles and skin care products.
Braff and Christou say the farm business is now profitable. An agricultural exemption knocks $9,000 a year off what would otherwise be a $27,000 annual real estate tax bill, according to the county assessor. On weekends Braff rides his American Morgan horse, Theo, while Christou, who lives on the farm full-time, builds the business. “It’s a way of connecting to a more rural way of life,” Braff says contentedly.
If farm living, or tax saving, appeals to you, here’s help.
Strange Random Farm Quote:
“Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” – William Jennings Bryan
- Tour de Farm gives a taste of First Coast’s harvest (jacksonville.com)
- Vertical Farms Sprout into Reality (livescience.com)
- Yolo County farm goes purple this weekend with Cache Creek Lavender Festival (sacbee.com)
- Cygnus proposes Norton solar farm (bizjournals.com)
- Experience Farming This Sunday! (leafmarque.wordpress.com)
- Virtual Insanity (onlinefunland.wordpress.com)
Posted on June 17, 2012, in Article and tagged Braff, Donald Newhouse, George W. Bush, Michael Dell, Michael Price, New York City, Sullivan & Cromwell, United States, William Jennings Bryan. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.