January 19, 2020

Policy Issues; Budget; Ag Economy; and, Trade

Policy Issues: Farm Bill, Estate Tax, Wind Tax Credit, Senate Ag. Comm. Developments, and RFS

Daniel Looker reported yesterday at Agriculture Online that, “Senator Chuck Grassley [R., Iowa- Ag. Comm.], one of few members of Congress to actively farm, sized up the election results for agriculture Tuesday, saying the voters’ choice of president had little effect on the farm bill debate, but it will affect estate taxes, the regulatory environment, and energy policy.

“Neither President Barack Obama nor Governor Mitt Romney talked much about the farm bill during the campaign, Grassley told reporters Tuesday. He expects Congress to either pass a five-year farm bill before the end of the year or it will pass a one-year extension of the current law. Grassley favors finishing the farm bill this year, but he said he’s not betting on it.”

Mr. Looker noted that, “During his campaign, Romney pledged to end the estate tax. At the end of this year it would revert to $1 million, the level before the Bush tax cuts were enacted.

“‘I believe it will not go back to $1 million,’ Grassley said. Those who favor keeping the current level of $5 million will have to fight for it, he said. Grassley said it could go back to $3.5 million (the level of 2009), with the rate rising from 35% to 45%.”

A news release yesterday from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) stated in part that, “The [NCBA] today joins more than 30 groups representing the agriculture industry in sending letters to the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate urging them to provide farmers and ranchers with permanent and meaningful relief from the estate tax. Current estate tax relief is set to expire at the end of 2012 with exemption levels dropping to $1 million per individual and the tax rate increasing to 55 percent.”