A budget plan President Donald Trump is expected to submit to Congress Tuesday includes steep cuts to farm subsidies. That is part of a Bloomberg News report, which also says the possibility of proposed cuts to target price supports and crop insurance led House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway to seek a meeting with White House director Mick Mulvaney.
Meanwhile, American Farm Bureau has outlined farmers’ and ranchers’ tax reform priorities to Congress. AFBF senior director of congressional relations Pat Wolff says the first public hearing on tax reform last week was the first chance to outline tax reform needs.
“Congress is getting serious about writing a new tax code. The House Ways and Means Committee kicked that off officially today when they held their first public hearing on tax reform. It was the first chance that people at organizations had to put things on the record, to say what’s important to them and what matters.”
Wolff explains farmers have specific ideas for tax reforms.
“Farm Bureau wants to make sure that when Congress cuts taxes that it cuts taxes for all businesses, not just big corporations. So, that’s an important point that we made, that most farmers and ranchers are small family-held business owners and they need tax relief too. And then, we need to make sure at the end of the day, we do get a lower tax rate, but we get to keep some of the deductions and credits that we use, so that it is indeed a tax cut and not a tax increase.”
She adds there are specific provisions farmers want included in the tax code of the future.
“Cash accounting, we have that now, we want to keep it. To trade in equipment without having a tax burden, that’s called a like kind exchange, we want to keep that. And we want to keep the deduction for business interest. That’s something that’s being talked about for elimination.”
Wolff says to hold on to cash accounting, like kind exchanges and keep the interest deduction, farmers and ranchers need to speak now with their members of Congress and let them know what they think about tax reform and that it needs to be a tax cut for farmers and ranchers, not an increase.