Nebraska Farm Bureau Wary of Tax Reform

The Nebraska Farm Bureau recently expressed serious reservations over Governor Dave Heineman’s proposed tax reform.

Tax policy has always been a major factor in the American farm industry. While the farm sector is remarkably profitable these days, high taxes can be a significant burden on farm profits. During fiscal cliff negotiations earlier this year, for example, farmers worried about the potential rise in the estate tax, which could have hindered many small farmers’ ability to pass on their land.

Governor Heineman’s tax plan would reform a tax code that has not been updated since the 1960s. In exchange for lower income taxes, Nebraskans would have to pay higher sales taxes. While the income tax break would benefit many farmers, the sales tax hike could be a major blow. The damage to the farm sector could impact the state economy as a whole. “If things negatively affect agriculture, they negatively affect the entire state of Nebraska,” Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson said. “The increase that we would pay in this are significantly higher than what farm and ranch families would gain with our present calculations.”

“No governor has been more supportive of agriculture than I have,” Heineman said. “I want to work with our farmers and ranchers. But, I do want them to think. It’s no longer the 1960’s when we developed this tax code.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer