Current Edition

current edition

Weekly Features

Congress passes tax legislation

Written by Heather Loraas

On Dec. 20, Congress passed the final tax relief legislation.

The House passed the bill on Dec. 19 with a vote of 227-203, and the Senate passed the bill in the early morning hours of Dec. 20 on a vote of 51-49. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill soon into law, resulting in new tax rates in 2018.

Danielle Beck, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) director of government affairs, reported, “Overall, this is a really good package for cattle producers.”

“This bill includes many of the provisions of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI),” reported ASI’s Chase Adams following the bill’s passage, citing cash accounting, bonus depreciation and the death tax. “Indications are that this package should be beneficial to small business and especially beneficial for sheep producers.”

Cash accounting and expensing provisions, including bonus depreciation and Section 179, are all being expanded, a benefit that is “great for agriculture business owners,” Beck said.

The death tax exemption rate was doubled, from $5 million to $10 million for an individual, indexed for inflation.

The bill is effective to 2026, when Beck expects pressure to make the cuts permanent.

“This is a once-in-a-generation reform of the federal tax code, and it comes just in time to be an eagerly awaited Christmas present for taxpayers,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Simplifying the tax code and easing the burden on citizens will free them up to make choices for themselves, create jobs and boost the overall American economy.”