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Letter: Fix the grain glitch

Like many Minnesotans who work in the agriculture industry, I am troubled by the unintended inequality created by a section of the recent tax bill. An unintentional glitch gives farmers a tax break for selling to cooperatives instead of private, independent businesses.

Left uncorrected, this glitch will deeply hurt small grain operators and disrupt the market for farmers. Such an unfair distortion of the market could decrease competition, damage small and independent businesses and further increase consolidation in the agriculture sector.

This glitch creates an unacceptable competitive imbalance for many hard-working Minnesotans. Our grain handlers, biofuel producers and dairy processors deserve a fix.

While this glitch was not an intentional change to the tax code, it creates a major imbalance in the market and will create long-term problems if left unchanged. We must act now.

I encourage Rep. Collin Peterson and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith to work to address the section of the tax law that creates such an unlevel playing field for non-coops, small and large.

In the name of basic American fairness, we need a timely retroactive rewrite of this flawed provision. Such a step is critical. Working together, we can fix this glitch.

Longtin is the general manager of Red River Grain in Breckenridge, Minn.