Ag tax extenders pushed on Congress

By American Farm Bureau Federation

America’s farmers and ranchers are ready for Congress to act swiftly to restore tax provisions essential to boosting small businesses and rural economies, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

In a letter to House and Senate leaders, Farm Bureau urged members of both chambers to work across the aisle to renew and preserve important tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013.

“Farmers and ranchers rely on tax provisions that allow them to manage their cash flow and put that money back to work for their businesses,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Section 179 and bonus depreciation are important tools that lend stability and help minimize risk in an unpredictable industry.”

Agriculture is overwhelmingly united in its support of Section 179 and bonus depreciation, which provide flexible means for farm and ranch businesses to write off and deduct business expenses.

Mike Friemel, who grows corn, cotton, wheat and milo on his family farm in Texas, had to replace four of his tractors this year alone because the older models had outdated technology and were lacking in the fuel efficiency available in the newer versions.

“The decision to invest and grow my business depends in part on how quickly I can recover some of those costs,” Friemel explained.

While he moved ahead with the new tractors, Friemel said he’s nixed plenty of other needed purchases because he didn’t want to tie up the cash.  The more cash farmers can free up, the more they’ll spend on growing their businesses and making large purchases, which helps not only their rural communities, but the economy as a whole.

Letters of support for these business-related and other critical tax extenders have been sent by groups from around the country, including the Broad Tax Extender Coalition. The coalition’s letter has been signed by more than 500 organizations.

“We’re seeing a broad level of support here because these tax provisions make for good business. They allow farmers and ranchers to plan wisely,” Stallman said. “Congress needs to act now if we’re going to see continued growth in the agriculture sector.”

Farm Bureau also called on Congress to renew tax incentives that would promote clean, renewable, domestic energy, as well as provisions that encourage donations of conservation easements and promote charitable donations to food banks.

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