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Agricultural News


Build Back Better Reconciliation Update: House Agriculture and Ways & Means Committees

Fri, 17 Sep 2021 10:08:17 CDT

Build Back Better Reconciliation Update: House Agriculture and Ways & Means Committees On Monday, the U.S. House Agriculture Committee finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The partisan spending package would provide $66 billion for agriculture research, renewable energy, rural development and forestry – with an additional $28 billion to boost conservation programs at USDA by focusing on climate-smart agriculture spending to be added in later.

On Wednesday, after 40 hours of deliberation, the House Ways & Means Committee approved its legislative proposals that would serve as funding mechanisms for the reconciliation package.

A copy of the committee’s section-by-section summary is available here and includes a large number of changes to the tax code. There are a few, however, of specific interest to agriculture, outlined below:

• Section 199A Restriction: The bill would amend the Section 199A Small Business Deduction by setting the maximum allowable deduction at $500,000 for joint filers, $400,000 for individual returns, $250,000 for married filing separately, and $10,000 for an estate or trust. This would take effect for tax years beginning after December 31, 2021.
• Estate Tax Exclusion Limits: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the estate and gift tax exemption to $24,000,000 for married filers. The provision is currently scheduled to expire on December 31, 2025. The legislation would move the expiration date up to December 31, 2021, and the estate tax exclusion limit would revert to $5 million/person, $10 million/couple.
• Expanded 2032A Special Use Valuations: The legislation would amend section 2032A to increase the special valuation reduction available for qualified real property used in a family farm or family business. This reduction allows decedents who own real property used in a farm or business to value the property for estate tax purposes based on its actual use rather than fair market value. This provision increases the allowable reduction from $750,000 to $11,700,000.
ASA was pleased that the legislation does not propose any changes to stepped-up basis, Section 1031 like-kind exchanges, or the federal estate tax rates.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) cited letters from ASA in his comments to the committee on behalf of the organization’s opposition to harmful tax changes. Watch here and listen for ASA at 3:53:10.

Ways & Means also included several energy-related tax credits in its portion of the budget reconciliation package:

• Biodiesel Tax Credit: The bill includes a long-term extension of the $1.00 per gallon biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credit from the current December 31, 2022, expiration to December 31, 2031. The biodiesel tax credit has proven to be an effective mechanism to expand production and access to biodiesel and renewable domestically.
• Sustainable Aviation Fuel: While a sustainable aviation (SAF) tax credit provision is included in the summary that was released, the final language is likely to change before floor consideration. As it stands now, the language would provide a graduated $1.25-$1.75 per gallon SAF tax credit to producers. The current proposal uses an outdated International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) lifecycle analysis methodology that would prevent soy oil from being used as a qualifying feedstock for the credit. ASA is continuing to engage with Congress and the Administration to resolve this issue.


   










 

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