President of South Dakota Farm Bureau testifies in Washington on tax code reform

Scott VanderWal says the time and money spent on taxes could go into expanding his business.
Scott VanderWal says the time and money spent on taxes could go into expanding his business. (GRAYDC)
Published: Jul. 14, 2017 at 3:20 PM CDT
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Filing taxes is a task individuals and businesses alike endure every year. Scott VanderWal, president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau, was in Washington this week urging lawmakers to take the tax burden off farmers like himself.

“Every dollar that we pay in taxes could be spent to expand our businesses,” said VanderWal.

He says he is looking for big changes to the tax code, as are many Republicans on Capitol Hill.

“If we could take some of our time and financial effort that goes into this tax code and use it for the production management of our farms that would really be helpful,” said VanderWal.

He testified in front of the House Ways and Means Committee, the committee in charge of tax policy. He told members it is hard for small farm owners to comply with a complex tax code and tend to their farms at the same time. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) says lawmakers are getting close to relieving the burden.

“One of the key components of tax reform is not just lowering rates, but also making the IRS more accountable, simpler,” said Noem.

“I will be looking at how tax reform can better help families as well as small businesses,” said Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), another member of the committee.

Sewell says there are bipartisan agreements. But, she says, lawmakers won’t be successful unless both sides of the aisle are seated at the table.

“We’ve been in talks with the Republicans about the tax reform, but we have not been asked to participate in crafting the comprehensive tax reform. In order for it to be truly long lasting and be something that will sustain the test of time, it truly has to be bipartisan,” said Sewell.

As of now, there is no set timeline for passing comprehensive tax reform, though Republicans say they plan to get it done this year.