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St. Louis, Mo… With passage of legislation by the House and Senate to avoid the year-end "fiscal cliff", the American Soybean Association (ASA) welcomes provisions in the law that extend the biodiesel tax incentive and provide a permanent solution to the estate tax, two of ASA’s major priorities in 2012 and 2013. ASA President and Canton, Miss.-based farmer Danny Murphy noted the association’s enthusiasm for these tax provisions in the following statement:
"The extension of the biodiesel tax incentive and the solution provided for the estate tax that Congress included in the fiscal cliff package are two resounding victories for soybean farmers, and ASA applauds the House and the Senate for including these two policies that provide some certainty for farmers going forward. These have been two of ASA’s foremost priorities in recent years, and soybean farmers stand to benefit significantly from the stability and certainty created by these provisions.
"The estate tax, which would have reverted to levels unrealistic for family farm operations in the absence of congressional action, was permanently set through the legislation at a rate of 40 percent on estates valued at $5 million, or $10 million per couple, which is a much more viable framework for the land-based and capital-intensive nature of family farms like ours. This solution allows farmers to pass their operations from generation to generation without the undue burden of an unrealistic estate tax structure.
"With regard to the biodiesel tax incentive, the extension of the dollar-per-gallon credit retroactive to 2012 and through 2013 is also a significant win for the burgeoning biodiesel industry, an important market for soybean growers. More than half of all biodiesel produced in the U.S. uses the oil from American-grown soybeans as a feedstock, which helps to grow our domestic fuel supply and creates soy meal as a byproduct, providing protein-rich animal feed for livestock, poultry and aquaculture.
"ASA recognizes and appreciates the work put in by the House, the Senate and the Obama Administration in crafting this legislation to address many tax issues, including these two significant policy provisions for soybean farmers."
ASA represents all U.S. soybean farmers on domestic and international issues of importance to the soybean industry. ASA’s advocacy efforts are made possible through voluntary farmer membership by farmers in 30 states where soybeans are grown.