Relief is in sight: Legislature passes full Section 179 conformity

Finally, relief is in sight for Minnesota farmers.

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) is thrilled and thankful that full Section 179 conformity has passed the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate as part of the state bonding and tax package passed this week during the latest special session.

“We appreciate that elected officials from both sides of the aisle set aside election-year politics and agreed to do the right thing for farmers and rural Minnesotans,” MSGA President Jamie Beyer said.

The House passed the measure 100-34 on Wednesday, and the Senate 64-3 on Thursday. It now awaits Gov. Tim Walz’s signature.

Getting full conformity to Section 179 of the federal 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been a top policy priority for MSGA. In 2019, MSGA successfully advocated for partial conformity. That capped deductions at $25,000. Full conformity sets the cap at $1 million, giving Minnesota farmers significant tax relief.

Speaking to legislators, using digital advocacy and partnering with other agricultural advocacy groups, MSGA worked to bring this pressing issue to the finish line in the state’s fifth special session.

“This has been a huge priority the last two years, the last two legislative sessions and all the special sessions to try to get this fixed and done,” MSGA Executive Director Joe Smentek said. “We utilized all of our available resources, taking action to reach legislators. Our farmers, staff and lobbying team put in the time and hard work. There was no quit in our MSGA team in its efforts to get this passed.”

Several times MSGA activated a Phone2Action campaign urging legislators to come to an agreement on a bonding bill this year that included full Section 179 conformity.

“This was a huge team effort,” Beyer said. “That included a lot of cooperation from other ag groups in the state, including Minnesota Farm Bureau and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, to help get this done.”

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