Clements: The American Farm Bureau Federation submitted a statement to U.S. House members Thursday, during the first public hearing on tax reform. AFBF senior director of congressional relations Pat Wolff says the hearing was the first chance to outline tax reform needs.
Wolff: Congress is getting serious about writing a new tax code. The House Ways and Means Committee kicked that off officially today when they held their first public hearing on tax reform. It was the first chance that people at organizations had to put things on the record, to say what’s important to them and what matters.
Clements: Wolff explains the priorities farmers and ranchers have for tax reforms.
Wolff: Farm Bureau wants to make sure that when Congress cuts taxes that it cuts taxes for all businesses, not just big corporations. So, that’s an important point that we made, that most farmers and ranchers are small family-held business owners and they need tax relief too. And then, we need to make sure at the end of the day, we do get a lower tax rate, but we get to keep some of the deductions and credits that we use, so that it is indeed a tax cut and not a tax increase.
Clements: She says there are specific provisions that farmers have interest in that need to be included in the tax code of the future.
Wolff: Cash accounting, we have that now, we want to keep it. To trade in equipment without having a tax burden, that’s called a like kind exchange, we want to keep that. And we want to keep the deduction for business interest. That’s something that’s being talked about for elimination. So, it’s time for farmers and ranchers to let their members of Congress know what they think about tax reform, that in the end it needs to be a tax cut for farmers and ranchers, not an increase. And, we need to hold on to cash accounting, like kind exchanges and keep that interest deduction.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.