For Immediate Release - December 06, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces 2010 Tax Credit Recalculation will Yield $3 Million for Massachusetts Dairy Farmers

BOSTON – Tuesday, December 6, 2011 – Officials from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) today announced that dairy tax credits – totaling $3 million dollars – will be available for the 2010 tax year for distribution to all Massachusetts dairy farmers who were eligible to receive a tax credit that year.

In 2008, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the Dairy Farm Preservation Act. One of the provisions of the Act was the creation of the Dairy Farm Tax Credit meant to offset federally-imposed milk price constraints. Under this provision, farmers can obtain an income tax credit for production in any month when the farm price for milk falls below a “trigger” price, established by DAR, to reflect the cost of production. Farms receive the credit after they file their state tax returns.

On November 21, 2011, the state’s Board of Food and Agriculture determined that an error had been made in the 2010 Dairy Farmer Tax Credit Program. Using an independent agricultural economist, DAR officials recalculated the tax credit employing econometric data from 2006 through 2009. This recalculation resulted in today’s tax credit announcement.

Nearly 227 million pounds of milk (or more than 26 million gallons) were produced by eligible dairy farmers in 2010. The independent analysis ordered by DAR determined that a rate of $1.323 should be distribute per hundred pounds of milk produced, which amounts to an average tax credit of $12,766. Two hundred thirty-five taxpayers are eligible to receive the credit.

“Our ability to revisit the dairy tax credit program demonstrates Governor Patrick’s ongoing commitment to Massachusetts agriculture,” said DAR Commissioner Scott J. Soares. “And, while we recognize our program provides a safety net for Massachusetts dairy farmers, there is still more work to be done.”

Commissioner Soares will forward the recertified tax credit to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) and send out recalculated credit statements to all who qualify to receive a credit for tax year 2010.

“Since 2006, I have been working to ensure that dairy farms, and agriculture as a whole, continue to be a part of the Massachusetts economy,” said Sen. Stephen M. Brewer, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “This recalculation will allow dairy farmers to receive a tax credit for 2010. The Legislature recognizes the vital role these local businesses play in the Massachusetts economy and the Dairy Farmer Tax Credit is one of the tools we provided the Department of Agricultural Resources with to assist these farmers.”

“I am extremely pleased that the hard working dairy farmers of Massachusetts will receive this tax credit and I appreciate the cooperation with DAR,” said Rep. Anne Gobi, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “This credit will assist in sustaining dairy farms that everyone in Massachusetts relies on.”

The DOR will contact eligible dairy farmers with more information about receiving the credit.

DAR’s mission is to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions – Agricultural Conservation & Technical Assistance, Agricultural Markets, Animal Health, and Crop and Pest Services – DAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the rich diversity of the Commonwealth’s agricultural community to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture’s role in energy conservation and production. For more information, visit DAR’s website at www.mass.gov/agr, and/or follow at http://twitter.com/MDARCommish

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