The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday reported three bills supported by Farm Bureau that make permanent tax provisions that expired at the end of last year. They are: HR 4718, introduced by Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) to make 50 percent bonus depreciation permanent; HR 2807, “Conservation Easement Incentive Act of 2013,” introduced by Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), which makes permanent the expanded deduction for donated conservation easements; and HR 4719, introduced by Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) to permanently extend and expand the charitable deduction for contributions of food.
It is not yet known when the bills will reach the House floor. The Senate Finance Committee had earlier approved a bill (the EXPIRE Act) to extend all the expired provisions for two years, including the three just approved by the committee. That bill is stalled because of a partisan disagreement about the amendment process.
“It’s just really difficult to deal with a tax code that changes every year or every two years, but the Senate is dug in on their two-year extension, and how they’re going to figure it out, no one knows,” said Pat Wolff, AFBF’s tax specialist. “They need to get together and work out the differences so that we can have these important tax provisions now rather than later.”
Also on Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee passed its fiscal year 2015 agriculture appropriations bill on a 31-to-18 vote. The bill contains $20.9 billion in discretionary spending, which is the same level enacted in fiscal year 2014.
The House and Senate have moved their respective agriculture appropriation bills through the full committees and the bills now move to the full floor. Neither chamber has set a date to bring the bills to the floor.