There is no question that our current tax code is in need of reform. However, the current tax bill isn’t the kind of reform Wisconsinites need. In addition to sticking our children and grandchildren with over $2.3 trillion in debt, it gives large tax cuts to the very wealthy and powerful special interests at the expense of Wisconsin family farmers.
The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates only the top 30 percent of farmers will get any tax cut at all. The other 70 percent, a majority of Wisconsin farmers, could be forced to pay more while losing critical tax benefits that have helped them grow.
This tax bill will eliminate some tax benefits important to Wisconsin farmers, including the Section 199 domestic production deduction that puts additional money in pockets of farmer cooperatives and their members. It will restrict like-kind exchanges, which help farmers reinvest in new equipment on their farm. It will remove net-operating loss carrybacks, which help farmers lower their tax burden during difficult years. There are even rumors out there that land rental income, which is vital to farm country, might be subject to new taxes.
At a time when Wisconsin farmers have been struggling to make a profit, the last thing we need to do is put a bigger financial burden on them. As a member of the committee that analyzed the tax bill, I fought and will continue to fight to make sure that any tax bill helps our Wisconsin farmers.
I stand ready and willing to work on a completely paid-for bipartisan plan to simplify the tax code and cut taxes for hard-working Wisconsin farmers.