Posted: Feb 25, 2013 6:43 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
Updated: Feb 25, 2013 6:56 PM
There's good news from the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, and good news for farmers. Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says the Jindal administration told him that agriculture tax exemptions will stay in tact. The tax exemptions include not taxing roughly 5 billion dollars in farming inputs, which he says is crucial for Louisiana's farming industry to stay competitive.
"When the plan first came out that we did not have any assurance that agriculture would be left alone, we were very concerned," Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain said.
Sugar cane farmer Chad Hanks was also concerned. The sales tax exemptions would include not taxing what amounts to 5 billion dollars in farming inputs, like seeds, fertilizer, and pesticides. Without the exemptions, farmers would have to pay an additional 350 to 400 million in taxes.
"If we were to take a look at getting taxed on all of our purchases, the burden that would be put on area farmers would be extreme," Chad Hanks said.
Both Hanks and Strain will pay close attention as the budget process continues.
"We'll continue to keep an open mind as we go through this process, and find out what the final proposal looks like from the administration," Hanks said.
"We're going to look at this very, very hard to make sure that it is something that will be progressive and that it will be done in such a way as to grow our economy," Strain said.