Clements: New legislation by Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) would extend tax incentives for biodiesel and short line railroads, two priorities for the American Farm Bureau Federation. Pat Wolff, AFBF senior director of congressional relations, says the bill would renew a biodiesel tax credit that expired at the end of last year.
Wolff: That expiration was significant because it inserted uncertainty into the biodiesel industry. Certainty about whether or not that tax credit would continue is needed so that the industries that produce biodiesel can make investment decisions.
Clements: The proposal would implement a long-term phase out to keep the biodiesel incentive on the books through 2024. The legislation would also reduce the short line railroad incentive but make it permanent, supporting the transport of agricultural goods.
Wolff: Short line railroads preserve nearly 50,000 miles of track that otherwise wouldn’t exist. This is the first mile/last mile rail that farmers and ranchers depend on to deliver their products to market and to get the supplies they need.
Clements: Wolff says the bill provides a long-term path forward in providing stability in the tax code.
Wolff: In the past when Congress has extended the tax incentives they’ve only done it for a year or two at a time, causing confusion and uncertainty. So, the fact that the proposal is for a longer-term extension that provides certainty and allows for planning in the industry is significant.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.