Category: Policy

Legislative Update: MCGA directors advocate for federal priorities in nation’s capital

By Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association Senior Public Policy Director

Last week, a group of Minnesota Corn Growers Association
(MCGA) directors spent time in Washington D.C. advocating for federal policy
priorities with members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation and other key
House and Senate leaders, as well as important agencies.

One of the top federal priorities for MCGA and the National
Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is the successful congressional approval of the
United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

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MCGA Day on the Hill focuses on tax legislation, ag innovation

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) brought 16
grower leaders to the Minnesota State Capitol for its annual Day on the Hill
last week. The group met with Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner
Thom Petersen and more than 25 legislators, including key legislative
leadership and chairs of committees that are important for MCGA policy

In each meeting, growers stressed the importance of enacting
federal tax conformity through Section 179, and property tax relief for farmers
by increasing the Ag 2 School Credit.

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Legislative Update: MCGA testifies on ag innovation, holds annual Day on the Hill

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) has a busy
week at the Capitol, with key testimony emphasizing the importance of ag
innovation and MCGA’s annual Day on the Hill. As the pace of legislative action
continues to pick up in St. Paul, the timing of both are favorable.

First up, MCGA President Brian Thalmann testified Tuesday in
front on the Minnesota House Committee on Agriculture and Food Finance and
Policy Division. With the committee hearing focused on ag innovation,

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MN House 2017

Legislative Update: Budgets revealed and ag research funding bills introduced

By Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association Senior Public Policy Director

week Governor Tim Walz released his first two-year budget proposal. Later this
week, the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) will release a revised economic
forecast, which will be used by legislators and the Governor to construct a
two-year budget for Minnesota before adjournment in May.

November, MMB projected a $1.5 billion surplus for the next two-year budget

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MN Capitol

Buffer property tax relief included in Governor’s two-year budget proposal

Governor Tim Walz announced his $49.5 billion budget
proposal today. In the two-year spending plan, Walz included $15 million to
address property tax relief for land in compliance with Minnesota’s buffer law.

Review proposed tax
aids, credits and refunds here
and refer to page 23 for specifics on “buffer credit for agricultural land.”

Today’s budget will be revised after an economic forecast in
late February/early March, as well as negotiated throughout the current legislative

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Gov. Walz named chair of Governors’ Biofuels Coalition

Announced last week, Governor Tim Walz was named 2019 chair of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition. In the role, Walz will work with governors from 22 states on advocacy efforts supporting regional and national biofuel policy development.

A longtime supporter of ethanol-blended fuels, Walz will serve as chair during what will be a crucial year for the future of ethanol. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon begin rulemaking for year-round sales of E15,

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Legislative Update: MCGA testifies in front of Ag Committee, tax-related bills take shape

Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President Brian Thalmann had the opportunity to
testify in front of the Minnesota Senate’s Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development,
and Housing Policy Tuesday to discuss agricultural innovation.

The goal
of the testimony was to encourage funding for the Agriculture Research,
Education, Extension and Technology Transfer (AGREET) Program, and an increase
in the use of Clean Water Funds for on-the-ground implementation practices.

underline the importance of both priorities,

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Legislative Update: Important bills start to move in session

By Amanda Bilek, senior public policy director for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association

The Minnesota Legislature convened about a month ago, and the first few weeks of session have been filled with overviews for committee members on relevant policies, state agency programs and other publicly funded programs that will be examined in the coming months.

The major work for the 91st Legislature in 2019 will be finalizing a two-year state budget.

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Resource for farmers addresses tax filing challenges in 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) impacted the short- and long-term tax and operational strategies for corn growers in Minnesota and beyond. With tax season upon us, the National Corn Growers Association worked with consulting firm K-Coe Isom to prepare some guidance for tax reporting this year:

Guidance for Tax Reporting for 2018

The memo is based off common questions K·Coe Isom has received and tax returns that they have been preparing for agribusiness clients.

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Tax relief and conformity among legislative priorities during session

By Amanda Bilek, Minnesota Corn Growers Association senior public policy director

The 91st session for the Minnesota Legislature convened today. Even though some of the same policy challenges persist for Minnesota, there are new dynamics, faces and leadership as the legislative session gets underway.

Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan were inaugurated alongside other state constitutional officers—attorney general, secretary of state and state auditor. Governor Mark Dayton served his last day as governor and is retiring after 40 years of public service.

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