Rep. Mike Thompson, D. St. Helena, announced the introduction of the Local Food Production Enhancement Act. This bill would use the tax code to increase investment in agricultural production, particularly in low-income communities and those that lack access to large grocery stores, by expanding eligibility to the New Markets Tax Credit to producers in those areas.
“As we strive to ensure the tax code works for everyone, it’s critical we expand tax credits that boost local investment,” Thompson said in a statement Wednesday.
The Food Production Enhancement Act expands the New Markets Tax Credit; “so it’s available to those who invest in local agricultural production. This investment will help low-income communities or communities in food deserts,” Thompson said. “This ensures that that tax credit benefits both the producer and the consumer, a win for small farmers and a win for working families.”
First created in 2000, the New Markets Tax Credit provides a credit to people who invest in businesses and non-profits in low-income areas. Thompson’s Local Food Production Enhancement Act would expand the credit to vertical farms and other producers seeking to increase productivity by controlling light, water, and other factors by farming indoors in a controlled environment.
The credit would be available to agricultural producers who have a documented plan to hire local workers, to distribute their products to local grocery stores, and to distribute surplus stock to food banks or other nonprofits. This would increase access to local foods to areas that are low-income or that lack access to large grocery chains and it would incentivize investment in agricultural producers.
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