Last week, the House Committee on Agriculture held hearings exploring the upcoming Farm Bill and impacts of tax reform efforts on farmers. (A recording of the hearing may be viewed here.)

Patricia Wolff, senior director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), addressed agriculture’s need for sweeping tax reform in the hearing. Per Farm Bureau, Wolff stated, “Running a farm or ranch business is challenging under the best of circumstances. Farmers and ranchers need a tax code that recognizes the unique financial challenges that impact them.”

In a Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit hearing held a day earlier, Nathan Franzen, president of agri-business at First Dakota National Bank, testified on behalf of the American Bankers Association. Franzen spoke on possible reforms to the upcoming Farm Bill and the importance of credit for rural communities. Per Financial Regulation News, Franzen expressed concerns about the changing agricultural landscape and identified several reforms for inclusion in the upcoming Farm Bill. Franzen stated, “The most important change that should be made to the next Farm Bill is an increase to the current loan limit on FSA Guaranteed Loans. The formula for indexing the programs has not kept up with the increasing costs of agriculture. It is much more costly for a young, beginning or small farmer to get into agriculture, and the guaranteed loan programs need to reflect that reality.”

These issues and more will be discussed next Thursday, April 20, when the Agriculture and Food Law Consortium presents a free webinar, “Ag Taxation & Reform 101:  What You Need to Know.”

This webinar will provide background, including key terminology, in the area of agricultural taxation.  The webinar will also address specific areas of recent and emerging concern with respect to agricultural taxation law and policy.  Areas covered will include noteworthy legislative proposals at the state and federal level such as the Farm Risk Abatement and Mitigation Election Act of 2017 (H.R. 1400), 1031 Like Kind Exchanges, Section 179, and the estate tax. Congressional staffers, attorneys, students, and ag professionals seeking additional understanding of emerging issues involving agricultural taxation and reform will want to attend.

Details on next week’s webinar, including sign-in information, are available here.