Friday, December 22, 2017

Tax Reform Package

Idaho Farm Bureau Commends Delegation on Tax Reform Package

Pocatello--The Idaho Farm Bureau would like to recognize Idaho’s Congressional Delegation of Senator Mike Crapo, Senator James Risch, Congressman Mike Simpson and Congressman Raul Labrador for their work on HR 1, the tax reform package that was sent to President Donald Trump this week.

This legislation simplifies the U.S. tax code and helps middle-class families. It keeps family farms viable and as farmers age, it allows for the next generation to take over without massive tax burdens that in the past have forced farm sales rather than orderly succession.

“Running a farm or ranch is challenging even under the best circumstances,” said Idaho Farm Bureau President Bryan Searle, a potato grower from Bingham County. “Farmers and ranchers face many factors beyond their control and they need a tax code that gives them the flexibility to adapt quickly so they can operate efficiently during good times and bad.”

Farm Bureau supports the complete repeal of estate taxes. The estate tax portion of the bill that passed this week doubles the exemption to $11 million but sunsets in 2025. The possibility of additional taxes at death creates a disincentive for the next generation, who might otherwise return to run the family farm but can’t shoulder the tax burden. Stepped-up basis encourages family businesses to continue from one generation to the next, by deferring taxes on farmland that continues to be farmed by sons and daughters.

“We believe the bill will lower taxes paid by the vast majority of farm and ranch businesses,” said Searle. “Although the final bill does not repeal the estate tax, the increase in the exemption will bring relief to many farm and ranch families and is a key installment toward repeal.”

American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said the tax overhaul includes many changes to the tax code, most notably lower individual tax rates that will benefit farmers and ranchers. So thanks to a lot of hard work by Congress and the administration, farmers will have both lower rates and all the tools they always had to manage their businesses.

“Starting next year, farmers and ranchers will also be able to take a 20 percent deduction off their business income,” Duvall said. “That’s new, and it will reduce the taxes farmers owe. The bill also

doubles the estate tax exemption to $11 million per person, which will provide relief to the vast majority of farmers and ranchers. We look forward to President Trump signing this bill. Most of the provisions in this tax bill are temporary, lasting for only seven years, so Farm Bureau will now focus our work on making those important tax deductions, lower rates and the estate tax exemption permanent.”

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