Clements: During a hearing by the House Agriculture Committee, the American Farm Bureau Federation outlined changes needed in the tax code to ease the tax burden on farmers and ranchers. AFBF senior director of congressional relations Pat Wolff told lawmakers farmers need a simpler tax code.
Wolff: Farmers face many challenges as they run their business, unpredictable weather, volatile markets, and what they don’t need is a complicated and confusing tax code on top of that. Farmers want lower interest rates, they want reduced taxes and they want things simpler, and the only way to do that is to take a comprehensive look at reforming our tax code.
Clements: AFBF has a list of tax reform priorities, with some priorities included in the House Republican Blueprint for tax reform.
Wolff: There’s four things in the blueprints that we like, repeal of the estate tax, lower income tax rates, lower capital gains tax rate and immediate expensing of all business inputs. We take exception with the blueprint’s proposal to eliminate the deduction for business interests. We think that’s a deduction that should stay. And the blueprint is silent on three things that we are working on, cash accounting, like-kind exchanges and stepped-up basis.
Clements: She says many members of the House Agriculture Committee agree with the needs of farmers and ranchers.
Wolff: The tax reform hearing was before the Ag Committee. That’s not the hearing of jurisdiction, but it is a friendly place for farmers to express their concerns. Most of the members on the committee agreed with what agriculture is asking for, and many of them pledged to be active in the tax reform debate.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.
Communications Assistant, AFBF