Sen. Grassley Says Inadvertent Advantage for Co-ops Could Be Corrected

Feb 20, 2018

Congress is close to righting an inadvertent wrong, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). At issue is a provision in the tax reform bill passed late last year that favors cooperatively-owned businesses, including many grain elevators.

“It’s quite obvious Congress would never adopt a tax policy that would put a competitor out of business,” Grassley says, and yet the changes to what’s called Section 199A have the potential to devastate privately-held grain elevators because they give farmers a financial incentive to sell their grain to a coop instead.

Grassley says he’s exasperated that after a month of trying he hasn’t nailed down a fix.

“When we were only trying to preserve the status quo for coops, we gave them a decided advantage,” he says. “So I think there’s been an agreement reached, but I have to emphasize ‘think’ because I’ve thought that before.”

Grassley says he expects the omnibus appropriations bill coming up next month to contain language reverting the provision to what it was before the tax reform bill, and he’s hopeful it will make the fix retroactive to when the tax bill was passed.