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CO-OPS OPPOSE INCREASED BURDEN ON FARMERS FROM PROPOSED TAX PLAN
Source: National Council of Farmer Cooperatives news release

The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today expressed strong opposition to provisions included in the recently-released Unified Framework for Fixing our Broken Tax Code that would increase taxes for farmers across the country. By eliminating the Section 199 deduction that is passed down by farmer co-ops to their member-owners, money will flow from the pockets of farmers and rural communities to investment bankers on Wall Street and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.

Section 199, also known as the Domestic Production Activities Deduction (DPAD) was enacted as part of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 and applies to proceeds from agricultural products that are manufactured, produced, grown, or extracted by farmer cooperatives, or that are marketed through co-ops. The great majority of cooperatives pass the benefit through directly to their farmer members. It is estimated that the deduction returns nearly $2 billion annually to rural areas in all 50 states.

"Farmer co-ops have consistently supported tax reform and related policies that support economic growth in rural America as well as the broader economy," said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. "The elimination of the Section 199 deduction for agriculture increases the tax burden on farmers and their co-ops and obviously runs counter to that goal. In a time of continued low commodity prices, those hardworking Americans who grow our food can ill afford for Congress to pass a law that will raise their taxes."

"As both the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee begin considering detailed tax reform packages, they must preserve the Section 199 deduction for agriculture and recognize that lower rates by themselves will not offset a loss of the deduction," Conner continued. "It would be a strange irony indeed if a Republican Congress and a Republican president pass a law that increases taxes on America's farmers."

About NCFC
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America's farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of over 2,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.

America's farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.


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