IDIOMS

land poor

(US, idiomatic) In a condition of poverty as a result of inability to meet tax payments or other financial requirements for one's land holdings.

Example: 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind The Cedars, ch. 15:
  "I was offered a thousand acres, the other day, at twenty-five cents an acre," remarked the doctor. "The owner is so land-poor that he can't pay the taxes."
1913, Jack London, The Valley of the Moon, ch. 18:
  [A]ll the rest of the surrounding land was owned by a Frenchman. . . . He was a land-miser. With no business capacity, old and opinionated, he was land poor, and it was an open question which would arrive first, his death or bankruptcy.
1924, Ambrose Elliott Gonzales, "The Quest of the Land" in The Captain: Stories of the Black Border (1972 reprint edition by Ayer Publishing), ISBN 9780836989694, p. 111:
  Altho' most of the planters were "land poor" and burdened by the heavy taxes of "Reconstruction," and altho' many Negroes, having abandoned hope of "forty acres and a mule" from the Federal Government, were now ready to buy ten acres and an ox, the sale of land to Negroes was generally reprobated.
2011, Irene Brand, Song of her Heart, ISBN 9781459210363, ch. 9:
  Most ranchers are land poor—lots of land, but not much money.