Smith: Tax incentives that encouraged biodiesel production and helped short-line railroads maintain their tracks expired at the end of 2017. The American Farm Bureau Federation is pushing to have those incentives reinstated and extended into the future. Pat Wolff, AFBF Senior Director of Congressional Relations, talks about the impact of the expired incentives.
Wolff: Biodiesel producers and short-line railroads don’t know if they’re going to have a tax credit, therefore they don’t know how much money they can invest. They may and I think are cutting back on their investments and, in some cases, may be not investing at all in their industries.
Smith: Wolff says Farm Bureau wants Congress to reinstate the tax credits immediately.
Wolff: There’s a chronic problem and that’s finding a piece of legislation to attach them to that’s considered must-pass. There is one opportunity, the end of the year budget deal. If Congress fails to act by November 21st, we’re in another government shutdown situation. So that’s considered must-pass legislation.
Smith: Wolff says these tax incentives impact industries that directly affect farmers.
Wolff: The biodiesel tax credit is important because of the huge market that the biodiesel industry provides for oilseeds like soybeans. Short-line railroads connect farmers to the mainline railroads. If your short-line railroads are in trouble, you don’t have any way to get the supplies you need, and you lose a way to get the things that you produce to the market.
Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.