Foreign owners must report holdings

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BILL HARMON
The Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act requires that holdings, purchases, acquisitions, leases of 10 years or more and use changes of U.S. agricultural land be reported within 90 days by any foreign landowner.

Those owners with dual citizenship are identified with a foreign status as well.

AFIDA directs the Secretary of Agriculture to obtain and analyze land transactions involving foreign entities and to determine the affects of such land holdings on family farms and rural communities.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has assigned county offices of the Farm Service Agency the responsibility to serve as a local source of contact to explain AFIDA requirements and file reporting interests. It is the responsibility of the landowner, or anyone legally acting on behalf of the landowner, to file true and accurate reports within the prescribed deadline.

The failure to timely report can result in a civil penalty of up to 25 percent of the fair-market value of the interest held in the land parcel. Filings of Marion County lands should be reported to the Marion County FSA office, 301 Eisenhower Drive, Marion, KS (phone 620-382-3714).

Bill Harmon is executive director for the Marion County FSA office.

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