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CCGA, other ag groups push for tax action in lame duck

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The Colorado Corn Growers Association (CCGA) and other ag organizations are pushing Congress to act on tax extender legislation before the end of the lame duck session, saying retroactive action in 2015 will be too late for many farmers, ranchers and businesses.

In letters addressed to congressional leaders, they discuss the Section 179 extender, referring to a tax code provision that allowed small businesses to deduct up to $500,000 in capital expenses immediately, rather than over time. That tax break and others expired at the end of 2013.

Action was also urged on the 50 percent bonus depreciation for the purchase of new capital assets, including farm equipment, which has also expired.

A letter from CCGA states that we “aren’t pushing for any comprehensive reform, but rather a much simpler, common-sense approach of renewing certain areas of the expired tax code.”

“It’s so important that we have tax provisions that allow us to take advantage of good years, invest in our operations, and streamline recordkeeping,” the letter continued. “We are concerned that the failure to renew these expired provisions of the tax code will place additional burdens on Colorado’s farm families, who are often asset-rich and cash-poor, and already face an unpredictable tax code.”

EPA won't finalize RFS volume standards this year

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday issued a notice announcing that it will not be finalizing 2014 volume standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard program before the end of 2014. 

The proposed rule, issued in November 2013, generated a significant number of comments, particularly on the proposal's ability to ensure continued progress toward achieving the law's renewable fuel targets.

The EPA intends to take action on the 2014 standards rule in 2015.

“Today’s announcement by EPA shows the Administration recognizes the proposed rule was inherently flawed and based on an unworkable methodology, " said Chip Bowling, Maryland farmer and president of the National Corn Growers Association. "We will continue to work with EPA to ensure that the 2014 and 2015 renewable fuel requirements are consistent with what Congress set forth in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).”

Colorado Corn voices concerns on EPA's proposed water rules

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Colorado Corn Growers Association President Dave Eckhardt this week sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, voicing his concerns about the EPA's proposed rule that would expand the federal agency's jurisdiction. 

Below is a portion of that letter:

"As president of the Colorado Corn Growers Association, I agree whole-heartedly with many of the points made by our National Corn Growers Association leaders in the letters they’ve sent you regarding this rule. Like them, I believe this unprecedented increase in jurisdiction must not be finalized without first undergoing significant revision. I also agree there is tremendous uncertainty we face because of the way the rule defines what is ‘tributary,’ and what is ‘adjacent.’ And it concerns me as well that a vast number of ditches are or could be subject to federal jurisdiction, and if these or other waters like them on my farm are made jurisdictional, I fear I would face serious risk of lawsuits.

"But my concerns and those of so many others here in Colorado go beyond that, largely because of our unique water situation, and our local rules and restrictions that are so different here than in other places across the U.S. That is the point I want to stress above all others; I find it impossible that the EPA can create a one-size-fits-all set of rules for everyone, when, just to provide one very basic example, places like the Midwest have systems and rules in place to divert water off their fields, while we in Colorado and across the West require infrastructure and regulations to divert water on to our fields. There are just so few consistencies region-to-region when it comes to water functions."

 

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