fb - voice of agriculture

Farm Bureau Urges Passage of Business Relief Act

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 4, 2010 – The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging the Senate to promptly pass a bill that that includes many important farm-related tax relief provisions that expired at the end of 2009. The American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act also includes renewable energy tax incentives, provisions to maintain vital rural health care services and emergency disaster assistance.

In a letter sent today to members of the Senate, AFBF President Bob Stallman outlined provisions in the bill Farm Bureau supports, including extensions of tax incentives for biodiesel, renewable diesel and for small agri-biodiesel producers – provisions that play a key role in the development and expansion of renewable energy and the creation of jobs.

“Clean, renewable, domestic energy is helping agriculture achieve economic growth, create a cleaner environment and shield our economy from unreliable foreign energy sources,” Stallman said. “Farmers and ranchers are playing a bigger role in supplying our nation with the energy it needs through the production of agricultural-based renewable energy resources.”

In addition, Farm Bureau supports the extension of expiring tax provisions that provide incentives to upgrade farming operations, donate food and preserve farmland.  Provisions include the five-year depreciation for farm business machinery and equipment, bonus depreciation, the enhanced charitable deduction for donated food and the enhanced tax deduction for donating a conservation easement.

Stallman said the inclusion of ad hoc disaster assistance in the bill is needed because many agricultural disasters in 2009 occurred on farms that will not be eligible for assistance under the disaster package included in the 2008 farm bill.

“In these tightening credit markets, the ad hoc disaster assistance included in this legislation could be the only thing that will keep some farmers on their farms,” Stallman wrote.

Stallman also stressed Farm Bureau supports provisions in the bill that improve health care delivery in rural America.

“Many rural residents depend on small rural hospitals that face unique health care delivery challenges due to their size and case-mix,” Stallman said. “Provisions in the bill that make it easier for health care providers to provide medical care in rural America are important to farmers and ranchers.”

-30-

Contacts: Tracy Taylor Grondine
(202) 406-3642
tracyg@fb.org
John Hart
(202) 406-3659
johnh@fb.org