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Farmers, Ranchers Watching For Changes In Tax Code

The USDA surveyed over 2 million farms in 2016. Arizona is home to 19,600 of them. This week, Congress is set to roll out a framework for changes to the tax code affecting farmers and ranchers nationwide.

The expectation is that tax rates will be lowered across the board, for businesses and for individual taxpayers. Farmers and ranchers pay taxes at individual rates.

Pat Wolff is tax policy specialist for the American Farm Bureau. Wolff says the concept of new tax legislation is a simpler tax code with lower rates.

But some of those lower rates are designed to make up for deductions being eliminated that many farmers and ranchers currently use to manage thin margins.

“One year they make money, the next year they may not, and the tax code helps them manage their way through that. But it’s also important for farmers and ranchers to have some deductions to help them deal with the uncertainties of their business and help them cope with the ups and downs of the farm economy," Wolff said.

Wolff is expecting to learn from the announcement which deductions, credits and other tax provisions will be removed going forward.

Heather van Blokland was a host at KJZZ from 2016 to 2021.