Under the Golden Dome, Too – Week Five

Upmeyer UTGD

The fifth week has wrapped up at the Capitol and we remain committed to running a focused and efficient legislative session.  We are working hard to pass policies that promote job creation, responsible budgeting, and lowering Iowans’ tax burden.

On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee passed legislation that would help promote new jobs in Iowa’s agricultural industry.  HSB 69 creates a new Custom Farming Tax Credit, expands the current Beginning Farmer Tax Credit, and streamlines the process for implementing the tax credit programs.

The agriculture industry is an incredibly important part of Iowa’s economy.  Each year, young Iowans make decisions about what career field to pursue.  Some choose to move to bigger cities or even out of the state.  This legislation is focused on encouraging young Iowans to stay in Iowa by returning to the family farm or even taking a look at a career in farming for the first time.

The bill also helps preserve our rich farming heritage by enabling experienced farmers to pass down their knowledge and skills to future generations of Iowa farmers.  Through this incentive program, retiring farmers will be able to provide beginning farmers with an opportunity to get involved and be successful in the industry they both love.

The Custom Farming Tax Credit would be available to land owners who hire beginning farmers to custom-farm a portion of the landowners’ farmland.  The tax credit would be in the amount of seven percent of the value of the custom work performed by the beginning farmer.  This credit would encourage existing farmland operators who may be exiting the industry to begin a business relationship with a beginning farmer.

The bill also proposes to increase the amount of tax credits that are currently available through the beginning farmer tax credit program.  These tax credits have proven to be in high demand over the life of the program.  The amount available for the tax credit program would increase from $6 million per year to $12 million per year.  This tax credit provides young farmers with another tool to be successful at the start of their career.

In order to make the process for implementing these tax credit programs easier and more efficient, the bill also simplifies the calculated thresholds and caps in the program that are administered by the Iowa Agricultural Development Authority.

The bill unanimously passed the House Agriculture Committee and is now eligible for further debate in the House Ways & Means Committee.

My legislative forums will soon be kicking off and I look forward to hearing from you!  I will be at Clear Lake Bank & Trust for the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce Legislative Forum on Friday, February 22 from 9:30 am to 11:00 am.  I will be in Hampton later that afternoon at Center One for the Franklin County Development Legislative Forum from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.  If you’re able to attend one of these meetings, I’d love to have the opportunity to visit about the issues you care about.

As always, continue to contact me with any feedback at linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov or 515-281-4618.

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