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Here's another story I didn't get a chance to cover but I wanted to pass along to all of you:

http://www.agri-pulse.com/...

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., introduced legislation recently that seeks to reverse a Supreme Court ruling that they claim is making it harder for bankrupt family farmers to reorganize their finances.

In the 2012 Hall v. United States decision, affirmed with a 5-4 vote, the court found that farmers who sell their farm while in bankruptcy have to pay capital gains tax to the Internal Revenue Service before other creditors.

The Family Farmer Bankruptcy Tax Clarification Act aims to clarify that bankrupt family farmers reorganizing their debts are able to treat capital gains taxes owed to a governmental unit, arising from the sale of farm assets during a bankruptcy, as general unsecured claims. It would remove IRS veto power over a bankruptcy reorganization plan’s confirmation.

The senators argue that the congressionally-approved 2005 bankruptcy reform law created a narrow exception through Chapter 12 so that if a family farmer sold land that resulted in a capital gains liability, the IRS claim would not receive priority status. - Agri-Pulse, 8/8/13

Here's a little more background info on Franken and Grassley's bill:

http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/...

The measure clarifies that bankrupt family farmers reorganizing their debts are able to treat capital gains taxes owed to a governmental unit, arising from the sale of farm assets during a bankruptcy, as general unsecured claims.  It removes the Internal Revenue Service’s veto power over a bankruptcy reorganization plan’s confirmation, giving the family farmer a chance to reorganize successfully.

“Chapter 12 helps the farmer and the banker sit down and work out alternatives for debt repayment so a farmer can keep his land,” Grassley said.  “There’s no question what our intent was when we wrote the 2005 law.  We simply need to ensure the plain language of the law says and does what we intended.”

Chapter 12, which was made permanent in 2005, allows family farmers to sell portions of their farms to reorganize without capital gains taxes jeopardizing the reorganization. Before then, the IRS took money through the capital gains taxes, leaving no money left to pay the other creditors. As a result, the farmer had to sell the rest of the land and still lost the family farm. - Des Moines Register, 8/8/13

The bill is known as the Family Farmer Bankruptcy Tax Clarification Act of 2013 and here's how it works:

http://www.wowt.com/...

The bill clarifies that bankrupt family farmers reorganizing their debts are able to treat capital gains taxes owed to a governmental unit, arising from the sale of farm assets during a bankruptcy, as general unsecured claims.

It removes the Internal Revenue Service’s veto power over a bankruptcy reorganization plan’s confirmation, giving the family farmer a chance to reorganize successfully.

Chapter 12 recognizes the unique situation that family farmers face when reorganizing through bankruptcy proceedings. It was made permanent in 2005 after nearly 10 years of congressional debate to fine-tune the bankruptcy laws.

Chapter 12 allows family farmers to sell portions of their farms to reorganize without capital gains taxes jeopardizing the reorganization. - WOWT 6 News, 8/8/13

If you would like to get more information, please do e-mail Senators Franken and Grassley for more information:

Franken: http://www.franken.senate.gov/...

Grassley: http://www.grassley.senate.gov/...

In other farm/Franken-related news, Franken recently talked about renewable energy at Farmfest in Minnesota:

http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/...

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., agreed that oil still will be around in a century, but said government is right in pushing Americans toward more renewable fuels.

“We pay a price when we burn certain fossil fuels,” Franken said, citing air pollution as one. “There is a logical reason for us to go to more renewable fuels.” - The Daily Republic, 8/8/13

And I'm happy to hear this:

http://www.postbulletin.com/...

After touring a Rochester food shelf, U.S. Sen. Al Franken vowed to fight efforts in Congress to slash funding for food stamps for the poor.

"I just don't believe that we're the kind of nation that lets vulnerable people go hungry," Franken told nutrition advocates gathered at Channel One Regional Food Bank.

House Republicans are expected to push for a $40 billion cut to food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). That's twice the amount conservatives had originally been seeking. In June, a farm bill with $20 billion in cuts for food stamps failed to pass the House. Some Republicans argued the cuts didn't go far enough, while most Democrats said they went too far. In the end, House Republicans passed a farm bill without funding for food stamps. The plan is to pass a separate food stamps funding bill when Congress returns from its August recess.

Franken said he has serious concerns with the idea of cutting food stamp funding at a time when the number of families needing help is growing. The Democrat called the House Republicans' efforts to cut food stamps by anywhere from $20 billion to $40 billion "just unacceptable." - Post Bulletin, 8/12/13

I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 05:01 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and Youth Kos 2.0.

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