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Oregon's Crop Donation Tax Credit Makes a Comeback

PHOTO: Fresh food and farmers were on hand, along with representatives of the Oregon Food Bank, when Gov. John Kitzhaber signed legislation on Thursday reinstating and increasing the Crop Donation Tax Credit. Photo credit: Kara Walker, Office of Oregon House Republicans.
PHOTO: Fresh food and farmers were on hand, along with representatives of the Oregon Food Bank, when Gov. John Kitzhaber signed legislation on Thursday reinstating and increasing the Crop Donation Tax Credit. Photo credit: Kara Walker, Office of Oregon House Republicans.
April 25, 2014

SALEM, Ore. – Encouraging farmers to plant an extra row or acre of food for charity is the goal of the Crop Donation Tax Credit signed into law on Thursday by Gov. John Kitzhaber.

The state used to have a 10 percent tax credit to help farmers offset the cost of planting and harvesting food donated to the Oregon Food Bank and other hunger-fighting groups, but it expired a couple of years ago.

Ian Tolleson, government affairs associate with the Oregon Farm Bureau, says his organization lobbied this year for a 25 percent tax credit, but is pleased with the 15 percent compromise.

"Food crops that get donated come a cost to the farmer,” he says. “And that's why we needed a tax credit to be reinstated, and we felt that it should be a little bit higher, to really get at a larger amount of produce that is going to the food bank."

Tolleson says most farmers will gladly donate fresh food with or without a tax credit, but he describes it as an important acknowledgement of the extra work and cost that's required to grow it – particularly for the smaller family farm operations that may have a harder time with the paperwork.

"All the farmers I worked with, they love to donate and they love to help,” he says. “So, if they can afford it, then they would. This will allow more of the small and middle-sized farms to donate more."

The bill reinstating and increasing the Crop Donation Tax Credit, SB 1541, is the only tax credit legislation that was passed in Salem this year.

The governor calls it an important tool for fighting hunger in Oregon.


Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR