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Farmers now eligible for tax credit for food donations

Staff Reports Posted 30 January 2018 at 12:32 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Adam Krenning, Albion FFA advisor and agricultural teacher, helps unload food donated by local farmers during the FFA’s annual food drive on Dec. 16. More than 35,000 pounds of food was donated by local farmers.

Local farmers can now get a state tax credit for produce donations to food banks and other emergency food programs.

The credit is worth 25 percent of the fair market value of the donations, with the credit capped at $5,000 a year. For example, if a farmer donated $12,000 worth of food, the farmer could be eligible for 25 percent of that or $3,000 in a tax credit.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New York farmers to pursue the tax credit, beginning January 1, 2018.

The tax credit is expected to save farmers a total of $10 million annually. According to the New York Farm Bureau, farmers across the state donated more than nine million pounds of food in 2017, which helped provide more than seven million meals to New Yorkers in need.

“This administration is committed to stomping out hunger in every corner of New York, and by establishing an incentive to increase access to farm-fresh products, we are one step closer to this goal,” Governor Cuomo said. “Refunding farmers for their generous food donations not only supports the state’s agricultural economy, but encourages more New Yorkers to help end hunger in our communities once and for all.”

Following a recommendation of Governor Cuomo’s Anti-Hunger Task Force, the tax credit was enacted to compensate farmers for costs associated with harvesting, packaging, and distributing local products to eligible food pantries, food banks and other emergency food programs across the state. Increased donations will help meet the growing demand for fresh, healthful foods in underserved communities across New York.

The tax credit is supported by the New York State Council on Hunger and Food Policy. Eligible donations include fresh fruits and vegetables grown or produced in New York State and provided to emergency food programs that qualify for tax exempt status. To claim the credit, the taxpayer must receive proof of the donation in the form of a receipt or written acknowledgment from the eligible food program.

A fact sheet on eligibility requirements for the tax credit is available by clicking here.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said, “Our farmers aren’t just great at growing food, every year they are among the leading donors to food banks, food pantries and similar organizations. Their donations provide fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables to millions of New York families that may otherwise go without. At the Governor’s direction, the State has worked hard to develop this tax credit to reward farmers for their generosity and spur economic growth in the agricultural industry, and to feed even more New Yorkers who need it most.”

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, “New York Farm Bureau is excited to see the rollout of the Farm to Food Bank Tax Credit. This has been a priority issue for our organization’s members who routinely donate to their regional food banks and local pantries. The credit will help offset the costs of picking, packing and transporting the food to the donation centers, while also increasing access of fresh, local food to New Yorkers in need. We appreciate Governor Cuomo and his agency staff’s efforts to make this day a reality.”

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