AFBF on Trump’s Tax Plan: Agriculture’s Unique Financial Challenges Must be Recognized

News / FBNews April 28, 2017

While lower tax rates will go a long way in helping farmers and ranchers, those involved in agriculture are anxious about the future of other important tax provisions—such as immediate expensing, the deduction for interest expense, cash accounting and like-kind expenses, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement soon after President Donald Trump released his tax reform blueprint.

“Farmers run their businesses in a world of uncertainty—from unpredictable markets to uncertain weather and disease outbreaks. The tax code should not add to the challenges of growing our nation’s food, fuel and fiber. We are ready to work with the administration and Congress to address all of agriculture’s needs in the tax code,” Duvall said.

Farmers and ranchers need a tax code that promotes the business of farming and ranching, recognizes the unique financial challenges agriculture faces and treats all businesses fairly, Duvall continued.

Most farm and ranch businesses don’t operate like large corporations: they are small, family-run businesses that depend on deductions and provisions that give them the flexibility they need to keep their businesses running in all seasons.
—  AFBF President Zippy Duvall

Duvall emphasized the organization’s pleasure that Trump’s plan immediately takes on one of agriculture’s top concerns, the estate tax.

“Eliminating the estate tax will free farmers to invest in the future of their family businesses rather than selling off their land and legacy when a family member dies. Farmers and ranchers have already benefitted from congressional action to reduce this burden, and we’re ready to bury the death tax once and for all.”

Trump’s plan would also reduce the number of federal income tax brackets from seven to three, double the standard deduction and eliminate the alternative minimum tax.

According to the White House’s one-pager on tax reform, Trump administration officials will get input from tax reform stakeholders and continue to work with the House and Senate “to develop the details of a plan that provides massive tax relief, creates jobs, and makes America more competitive—and can pass both chambers.”

Take Action

Though Trump’s announcement of plans to eliminate the estate tax is a positive development, ultimately Congress will make the final decision. Email your lawmakers now, encouraging them to support the Farm Bureau-backed Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017 (H.R. 631, S. 205).

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