(a) A taxpayer who purchases conservation tillage equipment for use in a farming business, including tree farming, shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this Part an amount equal to twenty-five percent (25%) of the cost of the equipment paid during the taxable year. This credit may not exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for any taxable year. The credit may be claimed only by the first purchaser of the equipment and may not be claimed by a person who purchases the equipment for resale or for use outside this State. This credit may not exceed the amount of tax imposed by this Part for the taxable year reduced by the sum of all credits allowable, except tax payments made by or on behalf of the taxpayer. If the credit allowed by this section exceeds the tax imposed under this Part, the excess may be carried forward for the next succeeding five years. The basis in any equipment for which a credit is allowed under this section shall be reduced by the amount of the credit allowable.
(b) As used in this section, "conservation tillage equipment" means:
(1) A planter such as a planter commonly known as a "no-till" planter designed to minimize disturbance of the soil in planting crops or trees, including equipment that may be attached to equipment already owned by the taxpayer; or
(2) Equipment designed to minimize disturbance of the soil in reforestation site preparation, including equipment that may be attached to equipment already owned by the taxpayer; provided, however, this shall include only those items of equipment generally known as a "KG-Blade", a "drum-chopper", or a "V-Blade".
(c) In the case of conservation tillage equipment owned jointly by a husband and wife, if both spouses are required to file North Carolina income tax returns, the credit allowed by this section may be claimed only if the spouses file a joint return. If only one spouse is required to file a North Carolina income tax return, that spouse may claim the credit allowed by this section on a separate return. (1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 969, s. 2; 1989, c. 728, s. 1.18; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 930, s. 22; 1998-98, s. 100.)