November 2016

November 2016


Selected 2016 Taxation Issues for Iowa Farmers

It has been estimated that the Internal Revenue Code and its accompanying regulations comprise more than 10 million words. The complexity is staggering. Yet, every taxpayer is expected to follow every mandate. Business taxpayers, including farmers, should always seek out trusted tax advisors to guide them through the thorny tax code. The money paid for good counsel is a wise and necessary investment.

Nonetheless, it is important that all taxpayers educate themselves regarding the Tax Code and the provisions that most impact them. Following is a concise, alphabetized review of some key tax provisions important to Iowa farmers. It is not intended to be all-inclusive or to offer tax advice. Rather, this review is designed as an educational reference guide, a starting place so to speak for some of the issues about which we, at the Center, most often field questions. It contains recent updates, notes unique Iowa provisions, and directs the reader to further resources for in-depth analysis or information. We hope it is useful.

Click here to download the reference guide.

What's Ahead for Clean Water Act Enforcement?

The November 8, 2016, election will be long-remembered. Although the result was surprising to many, it was largely driven by rural Americans seeking change to the status quo. But, what will a new Administration actually mean for rural America? If this election taught us anything, it taught that predictions aren’t often worth a whole lot.  Even so, as the dust settles, it may be helpful to consider the potential impact of the election on several major policy issue facing agriculture. In the days ahead, we'll begin to look at the details of various tax proposals. No doubt 2017 will likely see major tax reform begin to unfold. Likewise, we face uncertainty regarding trade deals, the 2018 Farm Bill and many other issues important to agriculture. But today I'm going to focus on the enforcement of the Clean Water Act, one of the most ardent concerns raised by landowners during the past several years.

Rural America has been concerned about the seemingly expanding reach of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Landowners argue that this jurisdictional expansion threatens their rights to use their lands as they choose. This was an issue discussed frequently during the campaign season. In light of new leadership, 2017 may bring some changes.

Read the full blogpost here.

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of California Egg Lawsuit

I’ve called it the “Hokey-Pokey” law. The California Legislature passed AB 1437 in 2010 to make it a crime to sell a shelled egg in California if that egg came from a hen confined in a cage that did not allow it to “lie down, stand up, fully extend its limbs, and turn around freely” (hence the Hokey-Pokey reference).

The law, which was effective January 1, 2015, stemmed from Proposition 2, a 2008 California ballot initiative requiring all California egg producers to raise their hen-laying eggs in cages allowing them the full range of movement described above. The force behind Proposition 2, which went into effect January 1, 2015, was the Humane Society of the United States, which spent more than $4 million to ensure its passage.

It did not take long for California egg farmers to push their lawmakers to see that Proposition 2 would place them at a competitive disadvantage as compared to egg farmers from other states. The mandated cages were expensive, and California producers would now have to invest in infrastructure not required for other egg producers. Enter AB 1437.

Continue reading here.


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As you know, our work at the Center is dependent on the fees generated by seminar registrations and gifts. If you would like to donate to further the Center's efforts, please contact our Program Administrator, Micki Nelson at or (515) 294-5217. You can also give online with a credit card. We thank you for your generous support.

CALT does not provide legal advice. Any information provided on this website is not intended to be a substitute for legal services from a competent professional. CALT's work is supported by fee-based seminars and generous private gifts. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material contained on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of Iowa State University.

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