2016 Federal Legislative Priorities
Biotechnology is an important innovation that has allowed Hoosier farmers to increase yield and profitability while reducing the use of inputs. From this, we've seen improved weed management and reduced tillage for better soil, water, and air quality. Farm Bureau:
- Works to protect farmers’ access to current and future biotechnology.
- Supports science-based regulations for biotech crops.
- Supports a national, voluntary GMO labeling framework that preempts state policies that result in burdensome regulations and higher food prices.
Selling more agricultural goods around the world boosts farm profitability and benefits rural communities.
- Congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will increase net farm income by $4.4 billion nationally according to AFBF.
- Direct U.S. agricultural exports are expected to increase $5.3 billion per year with TPP.
- TPP would increase cash receipts and net exports from Indiana by $196 million and $98.3 million per year respectively, with noticeable gains for the soybean, pork, and beef sectors.
- Increased economic activity from TPP is expected to result in 740 new jobs in Indiana.
National Farm Policy
Farm Bureau supports strong and effective safety net/risk management programs that do not guarantee a profit, but instead protect producers from catastrophic occurrences.
- Farm Bureau opposes reopening the Farm Bill for any reason.
- Federal crop insurance programs should be maintained at current levels to provide an effective safety net for agriculture.
- Farm Bureau supports crop insurance initiatives to maintain the integrity of the program, including the current rate at which crop insurance companies are compensated.
All Americans, including Hoosier farmers, need a regulatory system that is fair, takes economic impacts into account, is based on sound, peer-reviewed scientific data, and respects our freedoms. Farm Bureau:
- Opposes regulatory expansion including the EPA’s attempts to exceed the legislative authority provided to them by Congress in the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act programs.
- Supports additional congressional oversight of federal agencies and their regulatory actions.
- Advocates for legislation that preserves farmers’ land-use and water rights.
Farm Bureau believes that tax reform should embrace the following overarching principals:
- Include and help all farm businesses, such as sole-proprietors, partnerships, sub-S and C corporations.
- Reduce rates low enough to account for any deductions/credits lost due to base broadening.
- Repeal estate taxes and continue stepped-up basis.
- Lower taxes on capital investments. Capital gains taxes should not be levied on transfers at death.
- Allow businesses to deduct expenses when incurred. Cash accounting should continue.
- Simplify the tax code to reduce the tax compliance burden.