Under the terms of the nation’s debt-ceiling/budget deal, Congress must pass another $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by year’s end or face pre-agreed upon automatic spending cuts.
A briefing by tax software provider CCH predicts sweeping tax reform legislation the likes of which have not been seen since the 1986 tax reform. In its analysis of the multitude of legislative and tax proposals on the table, the Illinois-based tax, accounting and audit firm argues that fundamental changes in the nation’s tax law may be the only way to bridge the divide between those who want to cut taxes and those who want to raise revenue.
The thought is that “tax reform” is most palatable for all involved. The result is likely to focus on reducing or eliminating so-called “tax expenditures,” according to CCH. That would essentially involve deductions, credits and other tax benefits written into the tax code.
Of course, these tools and any changes are of interest to ag operations. But others aren’t convinced about sweeping tax reforms.
“Frankly, my view is that next to nothing significant will get done by the current Congress and adminstration,” says Roger McEowen, director of Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation. “Does something major need to be done? Absolutely. This problem has been building for decades.”
However, he doesn’t expect that a pro-growth policy will be enacted anytime soon. Instead, he predicts there will be more economic challenges ahead, including rising interest rates, high unemployment, weakness in the stock market and inflation.
To cope, McEowen suggests that “Land has always been a good hedge against inflation, along with commodities. But those with debt will get hammered.”