WV Farm Bureau Magazine November 2014 - Page 4

presidential paradigms Expensing Rule Limits Must Be Addressed Charles Wilfong, President, West Virginia Farm Bureau An extremely important issue must be addressed during the current lame duck session of Congress, which takes place between now and the end of the year. The Section 179 expensing rule allows farmers and other small businesses the ability to deduct the total cost of new or used equipment or other property in the year it is purchased, rather than having to depreciate the cost over a longer period of time. Over the past few years, the Section 179 expensing limit allowed up to $500,000 in allowable purchases to be deducted in the year the purchase was made. However, for 2014, that limit will only be $25,000 because Congress has failed to pass an extension of the higher limit. The House of Representatives has done their part, and passed a permanent extension of the $500,000 limit. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, on the other hand, has not allowed a vote to be taken by the full Senate. Without action from the Senate, the $25,000 limit stands. This year in particular, when we are seeing exceptionally good livestock prices, we need this valuable tax tool to help us manage our equipment, buildings and other purchases that dramatically affect our farm profitability. When we have good years like this, such tools help us maximize income and allow us to make the equipment and other purchases we need to make, and allow us to average out the bad years when we wrestle with bad weather and unpredictable markets and don’t have sufficient income to make those purchases. Many farmers have already made significant equipment purchases during 2014, unaware that expensing limits have dramatically decreased. Senators Rockefeller and Manchin need to hear from us about the importance of getting increased Section 179 expensing provisions extended immediately. Farmers have got to have clarity, so that we can make alternate plans if necessary. Agriculture’s Leading Role in the International Marketplace Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation Farmers and ranchers have a long history of promoting American strength and goodwill through international trade. Thanks to our ability to satisfy demand here and abroad, U.S. agriculture is one of the few sectors that can boast a positive trade b