Bold Colors Blog

Stickin’ it to the libs, one day at a time

Posts Tagged ‘Agriculture’

Washington State legislature and out of control taxation: will the family farms survive?

Posted by Liberty on February 8, 2009

Ag legislator sends out alert about proposed B&O tax

“A bill that would require Washington state farmers to pay the business-and-occupation tax if their gross income is more than $200,000 was sent to the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Friday, Feb. 6.”

You read that right–gross income.  I don’t know how many of my readers know much about agriculture but I know a little.  You would certainly not get the full picture by looking only at a farm’s gross income.  Farmers face a lot of variables–the cost of inputs like seed, fuel and fertilizer; labor costs; the cost to upgrade and replace machinery.  [For those of you not familiar with how expensive that can be, here’s a little comparison.  For the cost of a new John Deere combine, which a good sized wheat farm may use for a month out of the year, you could buy a decent house.  And you could use it all year long.] 

For a lot of farms, gross income probably looks pretty good.  And then the farmer gets to pay the bills.  There’s no guarantee that those bills won’t be as much or more than the gross income.  And that’s without the state of Washington with their hand out for B&O tax. 

“The bill completely or partially repeals seven deductions or exemptions, according to a recent tax alert sent out by Rep. Mark Schoesler, R- Ritzville, ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and also a member of the Ways & Means Committee.

”This is such a step backwards from what we’ve been trying to do,’ Schoessler said in an interview Friday, Feb. 6, with the Capital Press. ‘We knew people would be looking for money under every rock but we didn’t expect this shot across the bow so soon.’

Schoessler refers to the tax as the ‘most mean regressive tax’ that can be put on agriculture.

Pointing to the $200,000 threshold, Schoesler said that it wouldn’t even take a circle of potatoes in the Columbia Basin to hit that threshold.

‘And yet there’s no guarantee about profits,’ Schoesler said. Farmers also face high levels of expenses to plant, care for and harvest their crops.

Schoesler, an Eastern Washington farmer and rancher, aid that a gross income of $200,000 is right about where many farming operations become commercial and full-time.

‘This tax could spell trouble for farms that have been struggling and discourage smaller farms from expanding,’ he said.

Schoesler said is that a farmer grossing more than $200,000 could, because of expenses, earn barely enough to avoid qualifying for food stamps, free school lunches, or subsidized children’s health care. Yet that same farmer would have to pay the business-and-occupation tax if the bill becomes law.

The bill number is SB 5911.  The toll free phone number for the Washington State Legislature is 1-800-562-6000.  If you’re so inclined, give your legislator a call and let them know that spending is the problem.  Not revenue.  And give the farmers a break.  Whether or not those liberal Democrats from big city districts in Western Washington understand this or not, agriculture is a vital part of our economy.  Farmers have plenty of economic factors working against them.  Our state government needs to help facilitate the growth of all kinds of businesses, not kill them through punitive taxes.

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Posted in Arrogant politicians, Liberalism, Redistribution of wealth, Socialist economics, Stupid legislation, Taxes, Washington State | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More evidence that the environmental agenda is destructive to America

Posted by Liberty on December 6, 2008

EPA asking for a cow tax?

By Adam Rodriguez

“BOISE – Joe Stewart is used to giving tours of his dairy farm. But kids usually stay home. They say it smells funny.

“You stand around several hundred cattle and it’s not that offensive,” Stewart said. “The public restroom smells a lot worse than this does.”

But the Environmental Protection Agency is worried about the smell of methane, a gas that’s produced by cows when they digest hay. Scientists believe methane contributes to global warming. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the EPA was responsible for regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases like methane as pollutants.

The decision has the EPA considering a “cow tax” to curb greenhouse emissions.

According to the New York Farm Bureau, the tax could cost farmers up to $175 per cow – $87.50 for each head of beef cattle and $20 for a hog.

Local dairyman Mike Garner says it would be a death sentence for the already struggling dairy industry.

“I don’t know any dairy that could sustain that kind of fee,” Garner said. “It would put us out of business.”

An EPA media representative for region 10 (Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska referred all questions to a national spokesman in Washington, D.C. A call to the office was not returned.”

Here’s a little more in-depth coverage:

Proposed fee on smelly cows, hogs angers farmers

“For farmers, this stinks: Belching and gaseous cows and hogs could start costing them money if a federal proposal to charge fees for air-polluting animals becomes law.”

“‘This is one of the most ridiculous things the federal government has tried to do,’ said Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, an outspoken opponent of the proposal.

It would require farms or ranches with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs to pay an annual fee of about $175 for each dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $20 for each hog.

The executive vice president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Ken Hamilton, estimated the fee would cost owners of a modest-sized cattle ranch $30,000 to $40,000 a year. He said he has talked to a number of livestock owners about the proposals, and ‘all have said if the fees were carried out, it would bankrupt them.’

Sparks said Wednesday he’s worried the fee could be extended to chickens and other farm animals and cause more meat to be imported.”

No surprise here but these regulations are supported by the radical animal rights activist group, PETA.  They are hoping to use regulations like this to force farmers into producing crops that are more acceptable to their radical agenda while forcing American consumers to cut back on their meat consumption.  Note to PETA:  stick to what you do best: protesting the circus and assaulting little old ladies in fur coats.

So, we’re already dependent upon other countries for our oil because environmental activists have made domestic production and exploration so difficult.  The price spike that we saw with oil this past summer will be only the beginning.  If the environmentalists get their way on these regulations, it will drive American livestock producers out of business and we’ll be stuck getting even more of our food from overseas.  As it stands currently, we have an extremely safe food supply here in America but if we deliberately drive our farmers out of business, we open ourselves up to more than just exorbitant prices.  Why is our collective memory so short?  Not too long ago, America was up in arms because pets were poisoned by melamine-tainted food that was produced with ingredients from China.  And how about this summer’s salmonella outbreak that was linked to produce grown in Mexico?

The entire premise behind these regulations is a lie.  Global warming is an unproven theory and we shouldn’t be regulating American farmers out of business because of it.  It is completely illogical that the natural by-products of breathing and living should be considered as pollutants.  It’s my opinion that environmentalists are so tainted by their own feelings of guilt and self-loathing that they simply can’t relate to the rest of us who don’t believe that the Earth is going to hell in a handbasket.  I’m an optimist, I love America and I want our society to grow and prosper–environmentalists are pessimistic and frightened and they want to use their negative, alarmist agenda as a club to force the rest of society into submission.  This is not to say that Conservatives want a dirty, ailing planet–we’re just seeking balance between responsible stewardship and the growth and potential of all mankind.

[Just a footnote:

If some day we import all of our food from foreign nations and we have to depend upon our socialized health care system to help us recover from food borne illness and industrial chemical poisoning…we are screwed.]

Posted in Arrogant politicians, Environlunacy | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »