The American Farm Bureau presented to the House Ways and Means committee in early April advocated for tax change.  In a recent article, their message was clear Farmers and ranchers need tax certainty to thrive in a modern economy, and making permanent deductions that expired in 2013 is a good first step.

Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau, stressed on the need for stable predictable rules for businesses so that they can grow and create jobs. Stallman asked that Congress refrain from extending taxes for short periods because farmers and ranchers need to be able to plan.

Below are extensions Stallman presented to the committee:

·         Section 179 expensing, which allows small businesses to write off immediately capital investments of as much as $500,000 instead of depreciating them over several years;

·         Bonus depreciation, which is an additional 50 percent bonus depreciation for the purchase of new capital assets, including agricultural equipment;

·         Cellulosic Biofuel Producer Tax Credit: a $1.01 per gallon income tax credit for cellulosic biofuel sold for fuel plus an additional first-year, 50-percent bonus depreciation for cellulosic biofuel production facilities;

·         A $1.00 per-gallon tax credit for production of biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels;

·         The Community and Distributed Wind Investment Tax Credit, which gives the option to take an investment tax credit in lieu of the Production Tax Credit and

·         A provision encouraging donations of conservations casements.

According to recent studies, agriculture, natural resources and related industries provide an economic impact of $104 billion. It is the state’s second largest industry following tourism.

The industries include crop, livestock, forestry and fisheries production; agricultural product and service providers; forest product manufacturing; food product manufacturing; food distribution; mining and nature-based recreation. These industries contributed to 8.5 percent of Florida’s gross domestic product, making them fourth behind real estate, government, and health care industries.