Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Just in

President’s proposed farm program cuts, tax hikes worry farmers 

Washington-President Barack Obama's recently released 2017 budget includes proposals to slash funding for more than two dozen USDA programs and raise capital gains and other taxes, none of which sits well with farmers and ranchers.

"A global glut of food production has sent U.S. farm revenues down sharply. With farm income down 56 percent in the past two years alone, America's farmers and ranchers face difficult times," American Farm Bureau Federation Zippy Duvall said in a statement. "Yet, the president's just-released budget would cut 27 USDA programs, including a 10-year, $18 billion cut to the federal crop insurance programs so important to farmers. And all this happens as farm income is projected to decline another 3 percent in 2016."

Duvall noted that Obama's budget threatens farm and ranch families through capital gains taxes and special provisions that would force new generations to pay much higher taxes on any land and assets they inherit.

Such treatment is a recipe for farm fragmentation and an unnecessary obstacle for agriculture's next generation," he warned. Duval also highlighted some aspects of the proposal farmers were on board with. "The president's budget does include increases for food and agricultural research - a critical need in a world in which hunger remains a problem in many countries - as well as increases for research into antimicrobial resistance in humans and livestock. Each of these needs to be addressed in serious ways, and we appreciate the support for such research," he said.

Duval pointed out that Obama's budget has already been panned by many congressional lawmakers-who will actually be putting the federal budget into law.

"Leaders in Congress have been clear in their negative views on the administration's proposed cuts, noting that they will be writing the budget on Capitol Hill. We will work closely with our elected officials as they begin their work on the budget to protect the interests of our farmers and ranchers," he said.

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