Section 199A

03/13/2018

CRUNCH TIME ON SECTION 199A: The fiscal 2018 spending fight might hit the congressional floor this week. If it does, farmers will be waiting to see if it includes a provision to reverse a lucrative tax break farmers can now get by selling goods to agricultural cooperatives.

Republican lawmakers have been working furiously to try to roll back the "grain glitch," or Section 199A of last year's tax cut, which would disadvantage privately held grain elevators as well as corporate conglomerates that are not set up as co-ops. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters last week that a deal was in hand.

Dems' views: How willing are Democrats to allow that sort of correction to the omnibus spending bill, given that they were largely shut out of the writing of the tax bill? That's another question entirely.

There are Democrats who want to see this glitch fixed as fast as possible, including Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. He wrote to congressional leadership last week, urging their "immediate attention."

Without a fix, "many local and family-owned businesses will be at a distinct competitive disadvantage in the marketplace and will result in lost business and lower wages, the exact opposite of what the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was intended to produce," Edwards wrote. The letter was also signed by Mike Strain, the state's Republican agriculture commissioner.

The New York Times, in a broader piece about the fixes the tax bill might eventually need, wrote that independent grain companies from Minnesota, Oklahoma and South Dakota were in Washington late last month, "warning that businesses like theirs could collapse or be sold."