I’m calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop any consideration of a proposal that would impose a tax on “livestock emissions. This measure would add another burden on New York’s already beleaguered family farmers.
A recent Associated Press news article reported that, in the wake of a 2007 United States Supreme Court ruling that livestock gaseous emissions may contribute to global climate change and thus constitute a form of airborne pollution, the EPA is exploring the possibility of assessing a tax on certain farmers and ranchers.
The proposal, still in its preliminary stages, would impose a tax on farms or ranches having over 200 hogs, 50 cattle or 25 dairy cows. It would require them to pay a yearly charge of approximately $20 for each hog, $87.50 per head of cattle and $175 per dairy cow. The tax is applicable to farms whose livestock operations produce over 100 tons of carbon emissions annually and are subject to the Clean Air Act.
At the same time our state endures an economic recession, the EPA thinks it’s wise to impose a new tax on family farms and agri-businesses? If ever there was need for a crystal clear example of a federal agency completely out-of-touch with reality, the EPA just filled that bill.
This proposal from the EPA would only add to the financial challenges facing family farmers and New York’s agri-businesses. Why the EPA would seek to impose new taxes – while Upstate farmers are struggling in one of the worst economies in recent years – is simply beyond me. New York’s Congressional delegation should ensure this ludicrous plan goes nowhere fast.