Published online: Dec 11, 2012 Potato Storage, Potato Harvesting, Herbicide, Irrigation, Fertilizer, Insecticide, Fungicide, Seed Potatoes, Potato Equipment
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Fears about the "fiscal cliff" triggering higher tax rates have growers rushing to transfer property to heirs and complete other transactions before the end of 2012, experts say.

Estate and gift taxes are scheduled to increase with the expiration of tax rates enacted under the Bush administration, speeding up the succession plans of growers, according to ag accountants.

"Some people are going to make gifts they normally wouldn't have until later," said Kerry Arritt, an accountant in Burley, Idaho. "It will cost their heirs a few million dollars if they wait."

The "fiscal cliff" refers to mandatory tax hikes and budget cuts that kick in starting in 2013, which could send the U.S. back into recession unless Congress can compromise on fiscal policy before then.

"You feel like you can't plan. There's no stability. That's not a healthy economic environment," said Terry Kuenzi, an accountant in Salem, Ore.

SOURCE: Mateusz Perkowski, Capital Press