House Passes Estate Bill & Including Offsets

House Passes Estate Bill & Including Offsets

House Passes Estate Bill & Including Offsets plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Capitol Hill seems to be buzzing a few weeks before the Christmas break with many items being addressed like H.R. 4154, the Permanent Estate Tax Relief for Families, Farmers, and Small Businesses Act of 2009 which passed in the House of Representatives last Thursday by a vote of 225 - 200. The bill would permanently extend the death tax. It would exclude amounts up to 3.5-million single and 7-million married, and permanently set the death tax rate at 45 percent. Under current law the death tax would expire in 2010.

Farmer and ranchers may benefit if agricultural offsets are included as part of an environmental cap and trade system. USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber.

GLAUBER: First, offsets provide a potential low cost option for compliance to greenhouse gas emission reductions for covered sectors under a cap & trade system Offsets reduce the cost of compliance for covered entities which results in smaller increases in allowance prices that are then passed on consumers as increased energy prices. Second, offsets are a potential income source for agricultural producers and forest landowners through changes in land management practices for example reduced tillage, increased fertilizer efficiency, animal management such as dietary modification and manure management.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

Move over John Travolta, the “Urban Chicken” is taking center stage. There appears to be an ever growing number of people living in urban areas who have chosen to raise chickens.  In fact their number has grown to the point that many cities are reworking their local laws and ordinances in order to allow citizens to raise chickens. With the increase of rooftop gardens and community garden plots resurfacing in the last few years this seems like a natural progression, but the idea of keeping animals considered farm stock in urban environments can be a little harder to sell to the general public. Some of the biggest concerns revolve around possible health risks due to potential disease, and smell and noise pollution. Those who support the raising of chickens in urban areas cite that they are doing their part for sustainable agriculture.  With cities from New York to Seattle to L.A. all permitting urban chickens the famous and often used quote  of “a chicken in every pot” is quickly becoming “a chicken in every backyard, rooftop, or tenement building.”

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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