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Bill extends tax break for farmers making capital purchases

Legislation extending the Section 179 tax credit for small-business capital purchases passed Congress and was signed by President Barack Obama Friday.

Area farming officials, especially farm equipment dealers, were eying the legislation nervously prior to its passage. The tax bill allows farmers and small businesses to immediately write off up to $500,000 in capital assets purchases (including farm equipment) instead of depreciating it over time.

Section 179 tax deductions are good on new and used equipment, which must be financed/purchased by the end of the day on Dec. 31, 2014.

“We are excited to hear that Section 179 was signed by President Obama,” Abe Hughes, vice president of New Holland, North America, said in a news release. “This will allow our customers to invest in the equipment they need to make the most out of the upcoming season. They have worked hard all year and this is an opportunity for them to make that work pay off.”

New Holland is a major producer of farming equipment from its Lancaster County facility.

John Deere Inc., an industry leader in sales of heavy farm equipment, caused a stir last month with its prediction that industry sales for agricultural machinery in the U.S. and Canada could decline 25 percent to 30 percent in 2015. John Deere reported a 20 percent year-over-year fourth-quarter drop in profit.

New Holland took extra steps to make sure its dealer network understands and promotes the legislation to their customers in their local markets, the release said. Dealers are using “how-to” guides and customizable marketing materials provided by New Holland to get the word out.

John Hilton

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