Efforts continue in convincing Congress to not adopt the proposed changes to cash accounting rules for U.S. agriculture.
In February, Brian Kuehl and Greg Krissek from K·Coe Isom, and Riley Higby, an economist with Informa Economics, traveled to Washington, D.C. to brief congressional offices on the economic impact analysis that Informa is preparing on the cash accounting issue.
In the U.S. House, it appears that the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee may introduce a tax reform bill in the coming months.
While it’s too early to say whether the House tax reform bill will contain the cash accounting proposal, producers should continue to contact members of Congress and keep spreading the word about the cash accounting issue among the agricultural community. Our goal is to convince Chairman Camp to remove the accrual accounting proposal from his tax reform bill prior to introduction. If we can accomplish that, then we will have won a major victory in the House and will be in a good position to convince the Senate tax-writing committee to follow suit.
In the Senate, Senator Baucus, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has been confirmed by the Senate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China.
This transition means that Senator Wyden (D-OR) will become the new Chair of the Senate Finance Committee with jurisdiction over tax reform. It appears that Finance staff will advance the accrual accounting proposal as part of their overall tax reform proposal, but we are unlikely to see significant movement on that front until 2015. This gives us 10-12 months to build our Senate campaign and to keep Finance Committee from introducing this provision in legislation in 2015.
Economic Impact of the Proposal
One way that we are trying to advance our cause is by educating members of Congress about the dire economic impact that this proposal would have on agriculture. In late December, Farmers for Tax Fairness commissioned Informa Economics to prepare a detailed analysis of the financial impact to agriculture if the cash accounting rules were to take effect. That analysis is still in draft form but should be ready for public release in the coming weeks.
Expanding FTF Team
We are pleased to announce that the following organizations have now endorsed the Farmers for Tax Fairness effort and have placed their logos on the FTF website: California Farm Bureau Federation, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Western United Dairymen, Idaho Dairymens Association, and National Sorghum Producers.
We continue to work hard to make sure this issue stays front and center with members of Congress. Earlier this month, we worked with National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to prepare a Ag Industry Letter to Senate Finance Committee Regarding Tax Reform 01 17 2014 expressing opposition to the proposed changes. The letter was signed by many national and regional agricultural organizations.
What You Can Do to Help
We’ve made great strides in the past six months and it’s critical that we keep up the momentum until the cash accounting proposal has been rejected by the U.S. House and Senate. Please let us know if you can:
- reach out to your members of Congress and encourage others to do the same.
- invite producers that you know to support this effort.
- host a meeting with producers near you that would be affected to both talk about the issue and to bring additional supporters into the fold.
- become a donor to the Farmers for Tax Fairness effort.
We are available to help prepare talking points for any outreach to members of Congress, assist with outreach to other producers and participate in any meetings that you set up.