NGFA and 25 other food and agriculture groups urged lawmakers this week to include tax relief for essential workers as part of the next COVID-19 legislative response package.
In a July 29 letter sent to each U.S. senator, the groups specifically cite support for legislation introduced by Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, that would provide tax relief to essential workers, including those in agriculture.
“Frontline workers in the food and agriculture sector are among the designated critical infrastructure workers who are selflessly serving the nation during this time of crisis…These essential workers are fighting a war against the coronavirus at great personal cost, and we ask that they be recognized and supported by the federal government,” the letter notes.
Ernst’s bill, dubbed the “Financial Relief Noting The Large Impact Of Our Nation’s Essential Employees Act” (S. 4213) (the FRNT LINE Act), would suspend federal income taxes for essential workers up to an annual income cap set at the highest level of pay for an enlisted person in the U.S. Armed Forces. In addition, the bill would suspend federal payroll taxes for essential workers who earn up to $50,000 annually, according to a bill summary.
“Including this legislation in the coronavirus relief package that Congress currently is considering would be a tangible way to demonstrate our support for essential workers as they serve the nation during this difficult time, while also incentivizing their continued commitment to work,” the agriculture groups’ letter says.
Members of Congress are debating another round of federal relief for individuals and businesses amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Senate Republicans recently introduced their latest proposal for COVID-19 economic relief [Read more in the July 31 NGFA Newsletter]. House Democrats approved their version of a relief package in May.