ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley will testify in support of legislation that would reduce Maryland’s estate tax for family farms.

Shaun Adamec, O’Malley’s spokesman, said Friday the governor feels strongly that the measure will help preserve family farming in Maryland. O’Malley is scheduled to testify for the bill at a hearing on Thursday.

The bill is sponsored Republican Delegate Kathy Afzali, of Frederick, and 42 other delegates, including 17 Democrats and 25 Republicans. It would exclude $5 million of the value of qualified agricultural property from the estate tax. Maryland’s estate tax also would not exceed 5 percent on amounts that exceed $5 million.

Now, families pay 16 percent estate tax on property valued at more than $1 million.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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