August 3, 2017

When Will Congress Start Tax Reform?

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

Tax reform was a key selling point of President Trump’s campaign. Farmers and small business owners alike were enticed by his promise to stimulate the economy with lower taxes. Given the trouble Congress is having with healthcare reform, some farmers are concerned tax reform might not happen. However, tax reform could be right around the corner.

According to Jim Weisemeyer, a political analyst for Farm Journal Media, tax reform won’t be as hard as healthcare reform. "At least you have the White House, President Trump and key White House officials, speaking in the same arena on this topic," he said.

Additionally, health care doesn’t necessarily have to be sorted out before tax reform can begin as many previously thought.

“It just would make tax cuts easier,” Senator Grassley of Iowa told AgriTalk host Mike Adams earlier this week. “You don’t necessarily have to do one after the other.”

Farmers across the country have tax reform as a priority of the current administration and Grassley agrees.

“We have to have tax cuts to stimulate the economy, to get economic growth, and to create jobs, "he said.

Tax reform priorities for Missouri farmer Charlie Kruse include eliminating the estate tax and adjusting the overall tax rate.  

"I think lower tax rate has proven in the past to generate more dollars," he told Adams in AgriTalk’s farmer free for all this week.

Daryl Lies, a farmer in North Dakota, says allowing companies with money in accounts overseas to bring those dollars to America at a lower tax rate would extremely benefit the economy.

"What those folks bring back [to the U.S.] … would be huge for the economy," he told Adams.  “If we can boost the economy then we can get some reductions in other areas. We don't have a need for a high tax rate if the economy gets rolling."

Grassley would also like to see a reduction in the marginal tax rate so that there is more incentive for investment.

"Investment creates jobs," he said.

In addition he’d like to lower corporate tax rate. According Grassley, most industrial countries have an average corporate tax rate of 23% and the same tax rate in the U.S. is 35%.

While it's unclear exactly when the administration will get tax reform done Weisemeyer says that they appear to have a pretty aggressive timeline because of the need for a budget fiscal year 2018 budget to be finalized October 1.

"If they can get that done in the first few months of 2018 the market will have to bill back in what they previously factored in right after the Trump administration win, "he says.

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