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State Officials Report Economic Improvement in Florida
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has announced that unemployment in the state has declined from 11.4 percent in 2010 to 6.7 percent in October, 2013. DEO officials also noted that nearly 441,000 jobs were created during the same period.
Issue Brief: Lake Okeechobee Falls Rapidly as Dry Conditions Continue
As extremely dry conditions persist across central and south Florida, water levels in Lake Okeechobee continue to fall rapidly. The current level is 11.69’ NGVD and the littoral areas of the lake are now mostly dry. The 30-day outlook from the US Climate Prediction Center predicts dryer than normal conditions to linger.
Issue Brief:Numeric Nutrient Critera
In November 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), finalized water quality standards for the State of Florida, known as numeric nutrient criteria. Numeric nutrient criteria are quantitative water quality standards that will apply only to the State of Florida.
Issue Brief: Estate Taxes
The Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 set the estate tax exemption at $5 million per person and the top rate at 35 percent for 2011 and 2012. Without congressional action, in 2013, the estate tax exemption will shrink to $1 million per person with no spousal transfer and the top rate will increase to 55 percent.
Issue Brief: Agricultural Labor
Farmers and ranchers face a shortage of workers who are willing and able to work on farms and in fields. Comprehensive immigration reform must assure that, going forward, American agriculture has a legal, stable supply of workers.
Issue Brief: Agriculture Chemicals
The product label and the application of agricultural pesticides have always been regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a statute that is implemented by the EPA. Several ongoing developments within EPA threaten to undermine farmers’ ability to use important crop protection chemicals pursuant to FIFRA restrictions.
Issue Brief: Comprehensive Energy Policy
Farm Bureau supports a comprehensive energy policy to help reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources, decreases volatility in energy prices and encourages energy production within the agricultural sector.
Issue Brief: GIPSA
As part of the 2008 Farm Bill, the USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) issued a proposed rule on June 22, 2010, which addresses competition issues in the livestock and poultry sectors. In sum, there are many provisions in this rule that are supported directly by American Farm Bureau policy and there are other provisions that Farm Bureau will not support.
Issue Brief: Capital Gains Taxes
To remain efficient and profitable, farmers and ranchers must constantly change their businesses to produce the goods wanted by American and overseas consumers. Because capital gains taxes are imposed when buildings, breeding livestock and farmland are sold, it is harder for producers to shed unneeded assets to generate revenue to adapt and upgrade their operations.
For more information on any of these issues, please email the Ag Policy Staff or call them at (352) 374-1544.