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Congressional appropriators revealed an omnibus appropriations bill on March 21 that includes significant and harmful modifications to an important tax break for farmers and agricultural cooperatives, known as Section 199A.

The tax break was included in last year’s tax overhaul, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as a means to level the playing field between agricultural cooperatives and corporations who received a dramatic tax break in the legislation.

National Farmers Union (NFU), a family farm organization, recently opposed these proposed changes to the tax provision. Its members passed a special order of business in support of Section 199A due to its value in improving the livelihood of farm families and in strengthening rural communities.

“Farmers Union is deeply disappointed that Congress included harmful modifications to Section 199A in this must pass legislation. Reverting back to Section 199, in light of double-digit corporate tax relief, leaves farmers and their cooperatives worse off than prior to the passage of the Tax Reform and Jobs Act," said NFU President Roger Johnson.

Johnson said there were "meaningful bipartisan compromises to remedy challenges associated with 199A that would have ensured farmers and cooperatives were not worse off and that small private elevators were not disadvantaged."

"Those compromises were disregarded in favor of corporate interests," he said. “Further, the Congressional Budget Office projects that these modifications in the omnibus would raise $100 million for the federal government, which will come out of the pockets of farmers and their cooperatives. Congress can and should do better for farm families and rural communities.”

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