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  • Summary date: Apr 8 2021 - View Summary

    Includes whereas clauses. Enacts new Article 61B, Black Farmer Restoration Program, in GS Chapter 106, providing as follows. Establishes the Black Farmers and Landowners Restoration Program within the North Carolina Department of Agriculture (Department) to support current Black farmers and to encourage the growth of Black farmers in the field of agriculture. Establishes the Black Farmer Restoration Fund (Fund) consisting of gifts, grants, and donations from non-State entities and General Fund appropriations. Requires the Fund to be used for: (1) the purchase, from willing sellers, of available agricultural land in North Carolina at no more than fair market value; (2) the conveyance of grants of the purchased land to eligible individuals at no cost to the eligible individual; (3) the Farm Conservation Corps established in this act; and (4) grants to universities and nonprofit entities to provide training, advocacy, or legal services to socially disadvantaged farmers. Gives priority for land grants to: (1) socially disadvantaged farmers; (2) eligible individuals with a family history of land dispossession; (3) eligible individuals with experience in agriculture; and (4) eligible individuals who are veterans. Defines an eligible individual as a state resident who is at least 21 years old, has previously identified as Black or African American, and has at least one parent of African ancestry. Caps the land grant at 100 acres. Allows applications from a qualifying entity (as defined in the act) on behalf of one or more eligible individuals. Allows a land grant recipient to sell the land but gives the Department right of first refusal to purchase the land at the appraised value of the land to convey to another eligible individual.

    Establishes the Farm Conservation Corps program in the Department to provide state residents ages 18-29 from socially disadvantaged groups the academic, vocational, and social skills necessary to pursue long-term and productive careers in agriculture. Requires Corp members to serve as on-farm apprentices, at no cost, to farms with an annual gross farm income of less than $250,000 operated by: (1) socially disadvantaged farmers (as defined); (2) beginning farmers; or (3) farmers operating certified organic farms.

    Amends GS 105-153.5 to allow a taxpayer to deduct from the taxpayer's adjusted gross income up to $50,000 of income from farming operations a qualifying farmer (as defined in GS 105-164.13E) receives during the taxable year. Increases the amount for those married filing jointly when both are qualifying farmers. Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2021.

    Appropriates $8,450,000 for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the Department to be allocated in the specified amounts to: (1) the Black Farmer Fund with a specified amount for the Farm Conservation Corps, (2) to the Black Farmer Fund and the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund for the purchase of agricultural easements and related land restoration projects for Black and socially disadvantaged farmers and landowners through the Black Farmers and Landowners Restoration Program, and (3) to the Department for marketing and advertising. Effective July 1, 2021.