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Co-op wants incentives for buyout payments to fund value-added ag.

Under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, some agricultural quotas will be involuntarily eliminated under a 10-year buyout program. Absent an incentive to continue engaging in agricultural production, many recipients of the quota buyout payments may simply use the after-tax proceeds of their buyout payments to retire or invest outside their rural communities. This would have adverse effects on jobs and economic development in rural communities already struggling to recover from reduced agricultural production, according to Wayne Sine, director of corporate taxation for Southern States Cooperative Inc., Richmond, Va.

However, with clarification of provisions in the Internal Revenue Code, many quota holders would consider reinvesting in agricultural ventures within their local communities. "This would preserve or expand job opportunities and economic development in those rural communities which the buyout program was designed to assist," says Sine.

America's farmers are diversifying and investing in alternative agricultural operations, establishing or expanding value-added and other agricultural cooperative enterprises. Co-ops, producer-owned LLCs and partnerships are building processing plants, establishing innovative marketing enterprises and alternative energy plants. This process would accelerate if more buyout funds can be devoted to such ventures, he says.

"This proposal would clarify involuntary conversion treatment when the recipient of quota buyout payments elects to reinvest such amounts directly in domestic, value-added agricultural enterprises or other agricultural cooperative associations," says Sine. "Many former agricultural quota holders and producers would be interested in investing in such ventures should the capital gain tax on their involuntarily converted quotas be deferred."

Contact Sine at (804) 281-1301 or at wayne.sine@sscoop.com for more information.
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Title Annotation:NEWSLINE
Publication:Rural Cooperatives
Date:Sep 1, 2005
Words:262
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