President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 on Friday. Among other things the measure includes estate tax reform and extensions of ethanol and biodiesel tax incentives. Also of note, the legislation extends existing individual income tax, capital gains and dividend tax rates for two years and extends dozens of short-term tax breaks including the deduction for state and local income taxes.
U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack called the legislation a major victory for America's families, businesses, farmers and ranchers – and for the nation's economic recovery. With his signature, Vilsack says President Obama is bolstering efforts underway to rebuild and revitalize rural America and promoting job creation in rural communities.
Many agricultural groups reacted positively to the news that President Obama signed the tax package into law Friday.
Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis was on hand for the signing ceremony and presented the President with a letter on behalf of the American ethanol industry and its supporters. The letter states that the one-year extension of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit sets the table for comprehensive, long-term energy policy.
The Renewable Fuels Association says the Obama Administration has reaffirmed its commitment to the nation's ethanol industry. President and CEO Bob Dinneen says the extension of key ethanol tax incentives prevents America from backtracking on the gains it's made in energy security and the economic opportunity domestic ethanol production has brought to hundreds of rural communities across the nation.
The National Biodiesel Board and American Soybean Association are particularly happy with the retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax incentive through 2011. NBB CEO Joe Jobe says reinstatement of the incentive helps provide the policy framework needed to meet the nation's renewable goals.
The American Soybean Association was also pleased with the provision that raises the estate tax exemption level to $5 million per spouse and lowers the tax rate to 35%. ASA says this will strengthen the business climate for farm and ranch families and help ensure ag businesses can be passed to future generations.
The National Corn Growers Association thanked President Obama and members of Congress for the ethanol tax credit extension and the estate tax exemption. NCGA President Bart Schott says failure to act on both issues would have done harm to the nation's rural economy and the future of America's farms.