The American Soybean Association is calling its members to action on two pieces of legislation seen as crucial to U.S. soybean farmers. ASA farmer-leaders are in Washington, D.C. this week to participate in events involving legislation related to the estate tax and the biodiesel tax incentive. ASA would like to see both items addressed during the lame duck session and says active grassroots support is needed. The group is asking growers to address both issues with their elected representatives.
Tuesday ASA Executive Committee member Joe Steiner is participating in a press conference at the National Press Club on the need for Congress to enact estate tax legislation before Dec. 31. If Congress does not act the estate tax will revert to the 2001 rate of up to 55% with a $1 million exemption on Jan. 1. Many farm groups have stressed that this would negatively affect the ability to pass farms, ranches and small businesses from one generation to another. ASA would like to see legislation introduced by Senators Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., which would establish a $5 million exemption and 35% top tax rate, included in a lame duck tax bill.
Also Tuesday, ASA Board member Bob Henry and ASA's National Biodiesel Board representative Darryl Brinkmann are participating in a biodiesel fly-in. The goal is to press Congress on the urgent need to extend the already expired biodiesel tax incentive. ASA says extension and renewal of the credit are critical to the economic viability of the industry.