Senate moves crop donation tax credit

Senate approves crop donation creditthomsen-chuck
By Senator Chuck Thomsen

A bill allowing food banks and farmers to put more food on kitchen tables was unanimously approved on Friday. Senate Bill 1541, containing a crop donation tax credit, is part of the Senate Republican Legislative Agenda, and now heads to the House of Representatives for approval.

“This bill is about helping people help people,” said Senator Chuck Thomsen (R -Hood River), the drafter and chief sponsor of the bill. “A lot of the world’s best food is grown here. With the quantity and quality of crops in Oregon, there is no reason anyone should be going to bed hungry.”

Hunger continues to be a problem in Oregon, with an estimated 509,000 Oregonians suffering from food insecurity. Senate Bill 1541 would allow farmers to donate crops to local food banks and claim 15% of the value of the whole sale price of the crop as a tax credit. This would increase the amount of fresh, nutritious vegetables and fruit available to vulnerable families in need of food assistance.

Thomsen introduced a similar concept last session, but it was still in committee when session adjourned. Thomsen was first elected to the State Senate in 2010. He is a fourth generation orchardist from Hood River. He graduated from Hood River High School in 1975, and went on to graduate from Willamette University. Thomsen has been a volunteer firefighter with the Pine Grove Fire Department for thirty -three years. Thomsen served as a Hood River County Commissioner f r 16 years.

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