While speaking at the South Dakota Farm Bureau Centennial Convention Saturday evening, Rep. Kristi Noem discussed her fight for a tax code that works better for agriculture. Noem serves as one of the only farmers and ranchers on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over tax reform. During the closing debate on tax reform in the House, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady – a Rapid City native and University of South Dakota graduate – called Noem “a champion of family-owned farms and businesses.”

“Our farm has been in the family for more than a century,” said Noem. “The tax reform proposal we’re working on is designed to help farms across South Dakota last a century more.”

Noem continued: “Many South Dakotans have heard my story. After my dad died in a farming accident, we were hit by the Death Tax, which affected our operation for nearly a decade. I’m thrilled the House tax reform bill would finally get rid of this un-American tax.”

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform stated Noem’s “hard work and persistence has made our progress to date possible and is our greatest asset in the serious fight to kill the Death Tax once and for all.”

The House tax reform proposal includes a full and permanent repeal of the Death Tax, based on Noem’s Death Tax Repeal Act. It also includes key provisions designed to help farmers and ranchers succeed, including lower tax rates, immediate expensing, and provisions related to like-kind exchanges.

South Dakota Farm Bureau President Scott VanderWal, who testified before Noem’s House Ways & Means Committee about tax reform, stated, “This is a tax reform built for farmers, and Rep. Noem was integral in achieving that. From significantly lower tax rates to repealing the Death Tax, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act is more fair and takes a big step toward rewarding rather than punishing hard work and success.”

“It’s not just the Death Tax that disproportionately impacts South Dakota producers,” said Noem. “Almost any farmer you talk to will tell you that taxes are too high. We’re going to change that. Through tax reform, we significantly lower tax rates and double the standard deduction, which is going to make a significant difference in the tax bill producers receive. But we also allow for interest deductibility. I fought to get immediate expensing included as well, and we were successful in getting other expensing tools that are critical for highly-leveraged industries like agriculture. This is a proposal designed with farmers and ranchers in mind. It’s designed to keep more money in their pockets.”

During the process of helping to draft the House’s tax reform proposal, Noem has met with hundreds of South Dakotans to discuss the plan – both in the state and in her Washington, D.C. office. The House passed their tax reform proposal in mid-November. The Senate continues to debate their version. Once passed, the House and Senate will go to Conference to merge the two documents before both chambers take a final vote and put the legislation on the president’s desk.


Significantly lowers individual tax rates and puts a historically low small business rate in place.

Nearly doubles the standard deduction to $24,000 for married couples and $12,000 for single filers.

Repeals the Death Tax by 2025, doubling the exclusion for the first seven years and maintaining stepped-up basis.

Allows for immediate expensing, which will help farmers upgrade their operations by letting taxpayers depreciate 100 percent of qualified expenses the year they are purchased. It would also now apply the expensing benefits to assets in which the taxpayer is not the original owner.

Expands interest deductibility, which allows farmers and ranchers to deduct interest payments and is critical for a highly-leveraged industry like agriculture.

Expands cash accounting to protect farmers and others from paying taxes on things they have yet to receive payment on.

Preserves options for like-kind exchanges.

Expands Section 179, which allows farmers and ranchers to deduct the cost of some types of property as an expense, allowing farmers to better manage depreciation.

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