Smith: A new poll by Morning Consult for the American Farm Bureau Federation finds that seven out of 10 voters agreed passing tax reform legislation should be a priority for Congress. More than half of voters polled also expressed support for specific tax reform provisions that would benefit farmers and ranchers. AFBF executive director of communications Mace Thornton says the results show the need for tax reform.
Thornton: Americans are really ready for tax reform, and a lot of them know the toll that taxes take on our farm and ranch families. We think it’s a great opportunity to help communicate that fact, especially right now when we know Congress is beginning to pivot toward tax reform as the next issue on the national agenda.
Smith: The poll of nearly 2,000 registered voters found that many think the current tax system is unfair for farmers and ranchers.
Thornton: People who took the poll said that the U.S. tax system is unfair to farmers and ranchers, they recognize that. And furthermore, two in three of those people who were polled went so far as to say that farmers and ranchers really should be extended some special tax treatment due mainly to the combination of different challenges and different risks that come to bear in agriculture, and that sentiment was really shared across party lines.
Smith: He says that support extends to specific tax issues that are important to farmers and ranchers.
Thornton: Including allowing farmers to deduct machinery purchases in the year they’re made, allowing farmers and ranchers to average their incomes from one year to the next, decreasing overall capital gains taxes and repealing the estate tax.
Smith: The full survey is posted on the AFBF website – www.fb.org. Chad Smith, Washington.