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The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing this week to look at how the tax code currently in place affects farmers, ranchers, and the rural communities they live in. The American Farm Bureau was one of the organizations giving testimony. Pat Wolff, Senior Director of Congressional Relations, told the committee that farmers and ranchers need more flexibility built into the tax code. The goal would be to give farmers the flexibility to grow during the good times and help them adapt to situations often beyond their control when tough times hit. The House has proposed ideas for tax reform, many of which the Farm Bureau supports. Some of the proposals include reducing income tax rates, reducing capital gains taxes, immediate business expensing, and repealing the estate tax. Wolff says Farm Bureau has ideas that would improve the proposed changes to the tax code, including reinstating benefits like the deduction for business interest expense and guaranteeing the continuation of stepped-up basis, cash accounting, and like-kind exchanges. “Running a farm and ranch business is challenging under the best conditions,” Wolff said in her testimony. “Farmers and ranchers need a tax code that recognizes the unique financial challenges that impact them.”

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