Farmers and ranchers are urging congressional lawmakers—recently returned to Capitol Hill for their lame duck session—to tackle several outstanding issues, including the extension of lapsed biodiesel and short line railroad tax incentives.
Tax credits for biodiesel, renewable biodiesel and second-generation biofuel, along with the alternative fuel vehicle refueling property tax credit, expired on Dec. 31, 2017. These cleaner-burning renewable fuels provide expanded markets for farm commodities.
Similarly, the tax credit for short line railroads, which farmers and ranchers depend on to deliver their products to market and to supply them with the inputs they need to run their businesses, also expired at the end of last year. The tax incentive for track maintenance helps to upgrade and continue local rail service that connects over 10,000 rail customers to the national mainline rail network.
The lapse of these tax credits, along with many others, has created confusion for the numerous industry sectors that use them and support thousands of jobs in the U.S. economy, the American Farm Bureau Federation and a diverse coalition of more than 55 other organizations said in a letter to House and Senate leaders.
“The continued uncertainty with regard to eventual congressional action on tax extenders is undermining the effectiveness of these incentives and stands as a needless barrier to additional job creation and economic growth in the private sector,” the groups wrote. They urged lawmakers to, at a minimum, retroactively extend the provisions through the end of 2019 before the 115th Congress adjourns.