NCC: Tax Reform Welcome, Stronger Farm Policy Needed

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The U.S. cotton industry is pleased with passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) – legislation it supported that can spur economic growth by 1) lowering taxes and 2) simplifying the code for America’s cotton producers and associated businesses.

National Cotton Council (NCC) President/CEO Gary Adams wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) thanking them for crafting and for shepherding through Congress a bill that will allow farm families to further invest in their operations and preserve that farm for future generations by allowing full and immediate expensing of capital purchases and doubling the estate tax exemption.

“As you know, many family farms are structured as pass-through entities, and we appreciate the provisions to specifically provide tax relief for these entities as well as a provision for cooperatives and their members given the loss of Section 199,” Adams stated in his letter. “The lowering of individual tax rates will further help alleviate the tax burden on farm families.”

Adams also noted that U.S. cotton producers continue to face low prices and high input costs while lacking an adequate farm bill safety net. As a result, a number of family cotton farms and other cotton businesses have been lost in recent years.

“We look forward to working with Congress, both in the near term and through the upcoming farm bill debate,” Adams stated, “to provide cotton farming families with the necessary policy improvements to withstand the unique challenges of cotton production and marketing. This tax reform bill will certainly be welcome news for our industry, yet there is still critically important work to do for the cotton industry by strengthening and improving the current farm bill to address the challenges facing our farm families today.”

The NCC is U.S. cotton’s central organization, and its members include producers, ginners, cottonseed processors and merchandizers, merchants, marketing cooperatives, warehousers, and textile manufacturers. Farms and businesses directly involved in the production, distribution and processing of cotton employ more than 125,000 workers and produce direct business revenue of more than $21 billion. Accounting for the ripple effect of cotton through the broader economy, direct and indirect employment surpasses 280,000 workers with economic activity of almost $100 billion.

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