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Farmers Need Better Tax Law ASAP

Podcast / Newsline June 27, 2019

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Taxes are always top of mind for farmers. The American Farm Bureau is looking for changes to keep tax policies as friendly to farmers as possible. Chad Smith has more.

Smith: The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 would bring an early end to important but temporary estate tax exemptions. Pat Wolff, American Farm Bureau senior director of congressional relations, says that’s not good news for American farmers.

Wolff: Legislation that’s moving through the House would roll that higher exemption back three years early. That’s bad news for farmers and ranchers. First of all, more farms will be over the exemption and have to pay the estate tax, and more and more farms will have to spend money on estate tax planning because they don’t know what the exemption’s going to be and when it’s going to change.

Smith: Farm Bureau also wants reinstatement of an expired renewable energy tax credit that once supported biodiesel production. Wolff says the credit is important for America’s soybean farmers.

Wolff: The fact that Congress has let the biodiesel tax credit expire, it’s been gone for over a year now, is really hurting the biodiesel industry. Farmers need markets for their products and biodiesel can provide that, and Congress needs to get on the move and reinstate tax incentives for biodiesel production.

Smith: Wolff says farmers and ranchers need short line railroads to get their products to market and the supplies they need. Farm Bureau supports tax incentives for the railways.

Wolff: The short line rail line credit was a credit to short line railroads so that they could maintain their tracks. If the tracks fall apart, the trains can’t run, and farmers lose their access to market.

Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.

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