Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association takes lead on tax exemption for agricultural disaster programs

The Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association made headway at the State Capitol Wednesday(Feb. 11), in its mission to advocate for the state’s cattle producers with the filing of SB341 by bill sponsors, Sen. Missy Irvin (R-District 18) and Rep. Brent Talley (D-District 3).

“I am proud to sponsor this legislation that will offer extra assistance in times of hardship for cattlemen during disaster events,” Sen. Irvin said.

Entitled, An Act to Create an Income Tax Exemption for Payments from Agricultural Disaster Programs, which exempts livestock disaster payments and livestock and forage production insurance indemnities from being subject to income tax.  This bill states it will be “effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014.”

“I am pleased to work with Arkansas Cattlemen to help their famBob Connell

P.O. Box 1050ilies weather disasters through the relief offered in this legislation,” Rep Talley said.

Programs outlined in the bill assist producers in agricultural industries with financial compensation during periods of extreme production hardship, much like the catastrophic weather events experienced in recent years with extended droughts and damaging tornadoes. Triggers for programs are based off the drought monitor and rainfall index.

Gary Patton, President, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association, states, “these disaster programs in a time of disaster will not make a cattlemen whole, but only help maintain these operations for years to come.”

It is ACA’s contention that these payments, issued to offset the financial burdens of unpredicted loss in production, should not be garnished as it is meant to relieve financial worries, not add to them. Considering the rare nature of disastrous events in the agricultural sector and a well-administrated system of assistance qualification in place, the state would experience a minimal economic impact from the effects of this bill. More especially because you can’t predict or budget for disaster.