Letter: We must urge legislators to fix unintended consequences of tax bill
I no longer live in western Minnesota, but many of my friends and relatives still do. I have been alerted to an economic threat to many western Minnesota communities and citizens.Those of us who grew up in the farming communities of western Minne...
I no longer live in western Minnesota, but many of my friends and relatives still do. I have been alerted to an economic threat to many western Minnesota communities and citizens.
Those of us who grew up in the farming communities of western Minnesota know all-too-well the ripple effects that little changes in weather, fuel or seed prices, property taxes, or even road maintenance can have on the lives of our farmers, and then, quickly, every person in our small towns.
One accidental change in the federal tax bill, however, is likely to create a tsunami of harm unless it's fixed - and fixed soon. What's the issue? There's a glitch in the way that certain tax breaks are calculated.
Sales of produce to co-ops that are reimbursed as member dividends could effectively be untaxed for many, if not most, of the farmers who use them. What's the problem? The incentive of choosing between zero taxes and, maybe, 21 percent would kill any of our private elevators overnight. Those jobs? Gone. The local small-businesses that work with them? Crushed. The local grocer, butcher or diner the workers used to go to in good times? Struggling. The silos? Empty.
All of this over an error? That's just wrong.
Thankfully, the authors of this part of the bill are working on a fix. But they need the help of Rep. Collin Peterson and Sens. Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar. Please call their offices for the future of our small towns and families. Ask them to fight to make these necessary changes retroactive so we can avoid the incoming wave of harm.
Christianson lives in Monticello, Minn.