Hurricane Irma did a lot of damage to Florida agriculture in the first half of September 2017. Damages to Florida agriculture by Hurricane Irma were estimated to be around $2.5 billion, with sectors like citrus, the nursery industry, cattle, and sugar hit the hardest. Growers and producers are awaiting federal disaster relief, but The Florida House Ways & Means Committee is proposing an ag tax-cut package to help those in Florida ag impacted by Hurricane Irma receive a measure of assistance.
Details of an Ag Tax-Cut Package
The Florida House Ways & Means Committee looked at three different options that could be a part of an ag tax-cut package. Adam Basford, director of state affairs for the Florida Farm Bureau maintained that the proposals, while not life-altering, could help those in ag to stretch the dollars they do have towards recovery. The three proposals include:
- One-time tax refunds on fencing and building materials for non-residential farm buildings.
- Refunds on state and local taxes applied to fuel used to transport agriculture products from farms to processing and packaging facilities.
- Value at salvage level machinery that has gone idle at citrus packing and processing facilities because of Hurricane Irma or because of citrus greening disease.
Rep. Ben Albritton, a citrus grower himself, pointed out that those in the citrus industry, such as growers and packers, were already dealing with citrus greening before Irma came along. He indicated that these tax proposals could help many in Florida citrus to stay afloat and preserve the infrastructure and business relationships that will be necessary once the industry solves the issues of citrus greening and starts growing again.
This Column is sponsored by Griffin Fertilizer Co.
BIO: Mike Roberts is the division manager of the Frostproof, Fla.-based Griffin Fertilizer Co. Roberts joined the company in November 2011. He has spent the majority of his career in the fertilizer/agchem industry. Roberts earned a Bachelor of Science degree in citrus production from Florida Southern College in Lakeland. He is currently the chairman of the Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association. For more information, visit griffinfertilizer.com.