Illinois Corn Growers Association President Jeff Jarboe made the following statement after taking a look at the details of the agreements made on the omnibus and tax extender bills by Congressional leaders and the White House. Action on the vote is expected later this week.
“We are pleased to see COOL repealed in the agreed upon language of the omnibus package. The Country-of-Origin-Labeling issue proved to be a sticking point with the WTO. Since livestock are the number one consumer of U.S. corn and corn products, what’s important to that industry is important to us.
“In the negotiated language of the tax extenders bill, we were pleased to see the extension of the Section 179 tax law. All farmers can understand the importance of this extension even though it doesn’t seem directly related to agriculture. The language would permanently cap small business deduction for capital expenses at $500,000, instead of $25,000. Language was also included to extend the 50% bonus depreciation provision for five years. These tax provisions are vital to securing our ability to reinvest in our farms as we strive to continually do this better, become more efficient, and do more with less.
“Although the omnibus bill agreement is a positive step forward in getting beyond partisan politics in DC, the details of the bill leave something to be desired from an Illinois corn farmer’s perspective. We would have liked to have seen the Reid Vapor Pressure waiver included in this bill to level the playing field for higher ethanol blends in the marketplace. Repealing WOTUS and passing the GMO labeling policy were also among our top priorities, but weren’t addressed in the omnibus. That’s disappointing.”