A Farmer’s Growing Appreciation for Tax Cuts
By Max Moncure, Acting Confidential Assistant to the Chief Counsel
Recently staff from the Office of Advocacy had the splendid opportunity of touring Pawelski Farms in New York State. Chris Pawelski has been working the farm his entire life, ever since his grandfather purchased the 300 Acre onion farm in the late 1800’s. However, recent years have created more difficulty than Pawleski has encountered in his career. The FDA’s 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act has been especially burdensome for him due to the regulations on pesticides that he is able to use while farming. He believes this is overregulation because the outer shell of an onion is always discarded before cooking or eating an onion. Another issue that he is facing is a shortage of labor due to the scarcity of H-2A Visa workers. This issue becomes even more complicated if an American citizen happens to apply immediately requiring Pawelski to hire them and then “bench” the H-2A worker. He then has to pay 75 percent of the promised wage to the visa worker while paying H2-A wage to the citizen also even though he may not have enough work for an extra employee and thereby incurring extra cost.
Pawelski expressed more optimism regarding his bottom line once the conversation pivoted to tax policy. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, there is now hope for more profit than usual in a turbulent and unforgiving industry. The farmer is excited that he is bringing home more money even though he was at first against the tax plan. In his own words, “I am theoretically against the new tax code but I am making a ton of money this year because of it.” All things considered, it was an immensely beneficial experience to have insight regarding the life of a farmer and the problems that government can cause or solve.
Advocacy was in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables September 11-13.
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Max Moncure is the Acting Confidential Assistant to the Chief Counsel. He can be reached at Maxwell.firstname.lastname@example.org.