‘Yellowstone’ Fans Voice Major Confusion About Why John Dutton’s Struggle to Keep Ranch Is So Difficult

by Katie Maloney

“Yellowstone” creator, Taylor Sheridan is certainly a highly talented writer.

That said, the show is just that– a show. It’s meant to entertain. So, there may be a few storylines that require fans to suspend their disbelief. “Yellowstone” fans are talking about exactly that in a Reddit thread. The fans are sharing their thoughts on the supposed laws that are creating such an obstacle to John Dutton peacefully keeping his land.

One fan wrote, “Having trouble suspending my disbelief of property tax and inheritance tax being the main existential threat to the Duttons.”

The “Yellowstone” fan then shared the laws according to their location in Canada. They asked if laws were similar in the US.

“Farms that find themselves in the middle of or on the outskirts of growing communities have special tax status as long as the land is being used as a farm or ranch,” they wrote. “This makes them exempt from county and municipal property tax schemes until the land is sold, subdivided or developed. Wouldn’t this also be the case for the Dutton’s?”

The fan also added a question about the inheritance tax that Beth, Jamie and Kayce Dutton could potentially face.

“Also, what about the looming inheritance tax, or capital gains tax on the kids? They can’t pay outrageous inheritance tax on unrealized capital gains. Can they? What are the actual laws in Montana on this subject?”

Would The Dutton Children Face Massive Inheritance Tax Costs?

Another fan shared their thoughts on how much the Dutton kids would be taxed once they inherit the ranch.

“The federal estate tax is the issue, not property taxes. Right now, you can pass a little over $11 million tax-free at death. Above that figure, I believe the tax rate is 45%,” they wrote. “I don’t recall the value of the Yellowstone ranch. But say it’s $1 billion. That’s nearly $500 million in estate tax.”

However, another fan disagreed. They said that the taxes for a ranch are different from those for other estates. The “Yellowstone” fan also noted that the Duttons are pretty great at finding loopholes. So, they’d most likely find some way to avoid paying anything.

“Yeah, this is kind of a plot issue for the show. In the US, agricultural land has a special tax designation that is lower than the standard tax rate,” wrote the fan. “Plus in real life, the Dutton’s would most likely be able to take advantage of government programs that pay them to not farm on the land.”

We definitely can say that we’re willing to see how all of this unfolds on “Yellowstone” – even if it means putting realism on the backburner for the sake of entertainment.