Farm Bureau commends Congress for action on agriculture-related tax incentives

Tax incentives that are important to the daily operation of farms and ranches are often overlooked by Congress or given only one- or two-year extensions, making it extremely difficult for farmers and ranchers to make decisions about the future.

In 2015, farmers and ranchers joined together to put pressure on Congress to act and it resulted in a number of Farm Bureau-supported tax incentives being permanently approved.

Section 179 small business expensing was permanently approved for a maximum of $500,000 and indexed for inflation. If farmers or ranchers purchase capital assets -- which for the first time includes trees, vines and plants bearing fruit or nuts -- in 2016 or 2017 Congress, has provided for an additional 50 percent bonus depreciation. The bonus falls to 40 percent in 2018 and 30 percent in 2019.

The mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) for beef, chicken or pork sold in the United States was repealed, saving farmers and ranchers more than $1 billion in estimated retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico. The United States Farm Bureau made the repeal of COOL one of its top priorities when the World Trade Organization approved the imposition of tariffs from Canada and Mexico.

Farmers and ranchers will now turn their focus to 2016 issues, including voluntary GMO labeling, reform of the Endangered Species Act, and agriculture’s labor needs.

The permanent approval of these tax incentives makes it easier for farmers and ranchers to look to 2016 in a more positive light without having to stress over decisions about purchases or improvements to their businesses.

Organizations in this story

American Farm Bureau Federation 600 Maryland Ave SW Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20024

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