Issue Position: Agriculture
Growing up on the Sieben Ranch outside of Helena, built by my great-grandfather, I came by my dedication to Montana's agriculture issues naturally. Working alongside my family, I gained first-hand experience of the hard work and dedication that ranching requires. And that's' where I learned the Montana values of hard work, honesty, and doing what's right. Those are the values I take to work with me everyday.
Throughout my years of public service, I've made it a top priority to expand the opportunities available to Montana's farmers and ranchers. Montana's producers and rural communities are the backbone of our state's economy and I'll continue to use my seniority and leadership in the Senate and on the Agriculture Committee to provide producers with the support they deserve and need.
As the to Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, with jurisdiction over taxes, I worked with Senator Grassley to pass several tax provisions so you can get more of your hard earned money back at the end of the year. I encourage you to check with your financial professional about the following:
* New Manufacturing Tax Deduction The law allows a 3 percent deduction on 2005 taxes for agricultural production income - the deduction increases over the next several years to 9 percent by 2010.
* Livestock Drought Conversion The law doubles the amount of time ranchers have during declared drought disasters to sell and then rebuild their herds without taking a tax hit. The provision also allows ranchers to reinvest into equipment - instead of replacement stock - without paying taxes on capital gain.
* AMT Relief The law allows agriculture producers to average out their incomes over a four-year period without losing those benefits to the Alternative Minimum Tax.
* Renewable Energy Incentives Recent legislation also extended the tax credit for electricity produced from wind and expanded the tax credit to include electricity produced from small irrigation hydropower facilities.