South Dakota’s Republican lawmakers both voted in favor of the fiscal cliff deal that passed in both chambers right after the New Year. Senator John Thune says while the bill was far from perfect he voted for it because it contained several tax provisions that will be positive for South Dakotans, but in particular farmers. That includes a permanent fix for the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax rates and exemptions.
Congresswoman Kristie Noem also voted to pass the fiscal cliff deal. She says while the estate tax exemption is acceptable there is still work to do on this tax provision.
Thune says the area of concern that still must be dealt with in the next two months is dealing with deficit reduction and spending.
Noem is also disappointed they were only able to get an extension of the 2008 farm bill, but says it beat going back to permanent law. She does admit it will reset the farm bill policy process.
The farm bill extension did not include dairy program reform or livestock disaster assistance which she says is disappointing.