Ag groups respond to House tax bill


Ag groups have mixed reactions to Thursday’s House Ways & Means proposed tax bill.

The American Farm Bureau Federation applauds the measure. President Zippy Duvall says it includes expanded expensing while continuing the business interest deduction important to farmers and ranchers.

The National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says while the organization supports efforts to simplify the tax code, they oppose several elements of the plan.  “This plan offers significant tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.”  The measure repeals the estate tax which Johnson says would mean a more than $1.5 trillion increase to the federal deficit. After an estate tax repeal, heirs would receive a “step-up in basis” on the difference between the sales price of an asset they inherit and the value of the asset at the previous owner’s death.

Chuck Connor, CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, says the reforms would raise taxes for farmers and depress economic activity across rural America.  He says the proposal to eliminate Section 199, the Domestic Production Activities Deduction, could increase farmers’ taxes by thousands of dollars each year.

National Biodiesel Board chief operating officer Doug Whitehead says their members are disappointed the proposal does not include an extension of the biodiesel tax incentive and will work with lawmakers to address their concerns.

The president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), Dennis Slater, says the legislation is a step toward achieving pro-growth, pro-manufacturing tax reform.

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