~~I should also mention that the Ag Symposium is also hosted by the Kansas Farm Bureau and we have a packed house at their facility. If you never been to Manhattan, Kansas, you should make the trip. I personally like it better than the other Manhattan.
At lunch, we had Governor Sam Brownback speak on the regulatory burden on farmers. One of his points is that Congress should focus more on repealing laws that are now longer effective rather than just making new laws that add on top of old laws that no longer work.
Pat Wolff, Senior Director for Congressional Relations for the American Farm Bureau gave us an update on what is happening in Congress that is affecting farmers. The highlights are as follows:
•Several end-of-year provisions need to be addressed by the lame-duck Congress. These include biofuel credits and other energy credits. There are a total of 59 provisions that are expiring. It is likely that Congress will renew most of these, but likely not all or changes will be made.
•There are certain bills that have been proposed in Congress. One would allow citrus growers to deduct costs related to replanting of trees caused by citrus greening. Other bills would address some of the problems associated with ACA. One would allow farmers to continue to use HRAs to offset the cost of health insurance without facing the current penalty ($100 per day per employee covered incorrectly).
•One bill would change the biodiesel from a blenders credit to a producer credit. This credit would go directly to the farmer growing the soybeans instead of the blender making the diesel.
•As we have posted in the past, the House Ways & Means Committee is proposing a limit of 25% on pass-through business income and 20% for C corporation. Also proposing writing off all investments (except for land) and allow Net Operating Losses to be carried forward permanently.
•Business would be required to pay "reasonable salaries" out of business income that would be taxed at higher rates (who knows what reasonable is).
The bottom line is that there is likely to be major tax changes in 2017. It will be interesting to see the final result.