Buchanan Citrus Aid Plan Included in Tax Bill
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan’s Emergency Citrus Disease Relief Act has been included in the tax cut bill expected to be approved by Congress and signed into law this week.
“Immediate tax relief is crucial to help Florida citrus growers rebuild and get back on their feet,” Buchanan said. “I'm pleased that my bill to help farmers recover from Hurricane Irma has been included in this key legislation.”
Buchanan’s bill (H.R. 112) would make it easier for orange growers and citrus farmers to replace trees damaged by Hurricane Irma and the devastating disease known as citrus greening.
The bill, which is co-sponsored by every member of Florida's 29-member congressional delegation in both the U.S. House and Senate, provides tax incentives for farmers who cannot afford to replace damaged trees. Buchanan’s legislation is included in Section 13207 of the final Tax Cuts and Jobs Act conference report – the product of negotiations between a joint House-Senate conference committee.
The final tax cut bill was released Friday -- days after the federal Agriculture Department forecast the worst orange crop in 73 years.
The bill has been endorsed by the Bradenton Herald, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Lakeland Ledger, Sun Newspapers, the Panama City News Herald and the Ocala Star-Ledger. The Ledger called Buchanan's legislation a “must pass” while the Bradenton Herald said it was a “no-brainer.”
In 2014, Buchanan led bipartisan efforts in Congress to secure an unprecedented $125 million to combat citrus greening as part of the five-year farm bill that President Obama later signed into law. The legislation also authorized the disbursement of up to $125 million in discretionary funding over five years to combat this disease.