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Thanks to WRadical and Marti for helpfully responding to my quandary. I hope no one would be hurt if I give extra thanks to Peter for his extended reply.

I was afraid that the basis would be as ya'll say as the appraised value at the time of the gift would be too simple.

A complication is that my wife acquired the property with her sister. This wasn't working out so my wife bought out her sister. I think this means there are two bases: 1/2 the property based on my wife's acquisition cost and 1/2 on the price she paid her sister.

As the acquisition was made 30 yrs ago, I presume (for now) that her share of the structure was depreciated away long ago, but the sister's half probably has something left. As to the property value, I would guess the appreciation since the acquisition by my wife is something like 9X (off the top of my head). And 3X the price paid to the sister (which I remember).

Yes, I can easily come up with the depreciation schedule.

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