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Hoeven: Agriculture Must be a Priority in Tax Reform
North Dakota Ag Connection - 10/13/2017

Senator John Hoeven Thursday hosted a roundtable at the North Dakota Farm Bureau headquarters in Bismarck, where he heard from farmers, ranchers, small business owners and agriculture leaders about their priorities for tax reform. The roundtable comes as part of a series of meetings Hoeven has held both in North Dakota and Washington to advance tax relief that will benefit individuals, families, agriculture producers and small businesses, while also helping to grow the economy and boost wages for workers. Hoeven outlined the provisions in the recently-released framework and stressed the importance of including the following measures in the final bill to strengthen the ag economy:

- Reduce the tax burden on individuals and small businesses including farmers and ranchers.

o The framework limits the maximum tax rate for small and family-owned businesses to 25 percent.

- Provide relief from the estate tax, while maintaining the step-up in basis for capital gains.

- Increased expensing for farmers and other small business owners.

o The framework allows, for at least five years, businesses to immediately expense, or write off, the cost of new investments. This will benefit small businesses, including the state's farmers and ranchers.

- Maintain interest deductibility for small businesses.

"Agriculture is number one in North Dakota, and we have to make sure that tax relief works for our farmers and ranchers," Hoeven said. "The whole purpose of our meeting today was to get feedback from our ag producers and bring those priorities back to Washington. That will help our farmers continue to provide the highest-quality, most affordable food supply in the world, which benefits every American household every day."

North Dakota has nearly 71,000 small businesses that make up 95.8 percent of all employers in the state. For these small businesses, nearly 30,000 of whom are family farmers and ranchers, the marginal tax rate can reach as high as 44.6 percent - nearly twice the average rate of the rest of the industrialized world.

The senator's priorities on tax reform are to reduce costs for families and businesses by simplifying the code, bringing down rates and broadening the tax base to ensure stable revenues. This will allow continued funding for the nation's priorities while increasing government revenues over the long run through efficiency and economic growth.

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