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November 14, 2014
Volume 14
Issue 31

STATE NEWS

FARMLAND FORMULA IS ONE FOCUS OF LEGISLATIVE TAX COMMISSION   The Indiana Commission on Business Personal Property and Business Taxation released its final report on Wednesday. Indiana Farm Bureau was pleased that four of the sixteen recommendations from the commission offer solutions to the unsustainable tax burden being shouldered by Indiana’s farmers. Read more  

FEDERAL NEWS

ACTION: FARM BUREAU CONTINUES FIGHT AGAINST WOTUS, EPA   Farm Bureau continues to lead the fight against the “Waters of the U.S.” proposed rule issued by EPA and the Corps of Engineers. The comment period on the proposed rule ended today (Nov. 14) and Congress has returned to Washington for a lame duck session. Farm Bureau is asking its members to continue engaging on this critical issue by contacting their congressional members via email OR phone calls to ask for their support on legislation to prevent EPA and the Corps from implementing the WOTUS proposed rule.

To assist members in contacting their congressional members, INFB has created an action alert for email or letter and also established a congressional hotline at 855-242-6249 for those individuals wishing to make phone calls.

ACTION: TAX EXTENDER NEGOTIATIONS PLANNED FOR LAME DUCK SESSION   The House and Senate will be negotiating a tax extender bill during the lame duck session. In total, 55 tax provisions expired at the end of 2013. The following is a list of the key provisions about which Farm Bureau has policy, along with their legislative status.  

Section 179 Small Business Expensing: 

HOUSE: Passed permanent $500,000 deduction.
SENATE: Finance Committee passed two-year extension of $500,000 deduction as part of its package.

Bonus Depreciation: 

HOUSE: Passed permanent 50 percent bonus depreciation and expanded it to include the planting of fruit or nut-bearing trees and vines.
SENATE: Finance Committee passed a two-year extension of 50 percent bonus depreciation as part of its package.

Bio Fuels and Power:

  • Cellulosic Biofuel Producer Tax Credit.
  • Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Tax Credits.
  • Wind Energy Production Tax Credit.

HOUSE: No action taken.
SENATE: Finance Committee passed a two-year extension as part of its package.

INFB asks members to contact their representatives and both senators in support of the extension of the provisions listed above. A permanent extension is endorsed for provisions made permanent by the House for Section 179 and accelerated depreciation. Members should ask Senators Coats and Donnelly to accept these improvements.

ACTION: MEMBER COMMENTS SOUGHT FOR PROPOSED EPA GREENHOUSE GAS REGULATIONS   In June 2013, President Obama issued an executive memorandum directing the Environmental Protection Agency to publicize regulations to limit carbon emissions from both new and existing power plants. These two regulations will set the stage for similar regulations of other sectors of the economy, such as refining, chemicals, natural gas development, iron and steel, livestock operations and pulp and paper. On June 2, EPA released its proposed rule addressing emissions from existing power plants.  

Last month, EPA announced an extension of the comment period for the existing power plant GHG regulation until Dec. 1. It is still expected that EPA will finalize the rule by June 2015.

Farm Bureau has created an FBACT Action Alert for Farm Bureau members to submit comments to EPA regarding their proposed Clean Power Plan. The deadline to submit comments is Dec.1.  

More information about proposed power plant emission regulations.

FARM BILL MEETINGS PLANNED FOR DECEMBER AND JANUARY   INFB, as part of a coalition of several ag groups, is partnering with Purdue University Extension Services and the USDA’s Farm Service Agency to host a series of informational meetings about the farm bill in December and January. 

At each site, INFB is conducting a state policy lunch to brief farmers on the critical issues that must be dealt with by the General Assembly when they convene in January, namely the rapidly escalating farmland tax burden. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.  Farm Bureau staff will also discuss other priorities including forced annexation, water resources, state budget priorities affecting ag and rural communities, and provide an update on federal tax extenders. Purdue’s registration site includes registration for the lunch.  

After the INFB session, beginning at 1 p.m., discussion at the farm bill meetings will focus on Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs authorized by the farm bill and the tools available to help producers make the appropriate decision for their farms.  

Crop producers must select one of the new programs, an irrevocable decision that is good for the life of the five-year farm bill until 2018. Program election decisions must be made by March 31, 2015 and are on a crop-by-crop basis. Famers are encouraged to attend one of the farm bill meetings in order to be prepared to make the most informed and best program decision for their individual operations.

The meetings will begin Dec. 8 and continue into January. They are free and open to the general public but registration is recommended. The schedule for the statewide meetings is:

  • Dec. 8 - Hamilton County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center; 2003 Pleasant St., Noblesville.
  • Dec. 9 - Huntingburg Event Center; 200 E. 14th St., Huntingburg.
  • Dec. 10 - Indiana Grand Racing and Casino Trackside; 4300 N. Michigan Road, Shelbyville.
  • Jan. 6 - Honeywell Center; 275 W. Market St., Wabash.
  • Jan. 8 - Knights of Columbus; 624 Delaware Road, Batesville.
  • Jan. 9 - Beck Agricultural Center; 4540 U.S. 52 W, West Lafayette.
  • Jan. 15 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum (Ft. Wayne Farm Show); 4000 Parnell Ave., Fort Wayne.

To register for the meetings, visit the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture’s web site or type Center for Commercial Ag into a search engine. Information can also be found by visiting The Hoosier Farmer online. Farmers without access to the internet can call their local extension office to register.

OTHER NEWS

Are Cheap Gas Prices Here to Stay?   Read more

Jimmy Kimmel Interviews Average Americans About GMOs   Read more

Fork Makes Veggies Taste Like Bubble Gum   Read more

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