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Sen. Marshall works to get PPP money to all farmers and ranchers

(KCRG)
Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 1:08 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Senator Roger Marshall has joined colleagues to work to get PPP money to all farmers and ranchers.

Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) says he has joined John Hickenlooper (D-Col.), and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) to introduce legislation that would ensure that farmers and ranchers categorized as a partnership will be able to use gross income when they apply for Paycheck Protection Program funds. He said without the legislation, farmers and ranchers are forced to use net income, which is often low or negative due to the amount of depreciation that farmers claim on their equipment.

“It’s no secret our nation’s farmers and ranchers have faced incredible difficulties through the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, certain farm and ranch partnerships, many of which are small family-run businesses, were left out of changes made to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program in December. Our legislation would let farmers categorized as a partnership use gross income rather than net income when applying for this COVID relief,” said Senator Marshall. “When it comes to PPP, we must ensure no farmers or ranchers are left behind.”

Additionally, Sen. Marshall said he doubled down and offered an amendment to the PPP Extension Act and spoke on the Senate floor about it.

According to Marshall, the bill would allow farmers and ranchers categorized as partnerships to use gross income when they calculate their PPP maximum loan amount. In December, he said Congress made changes to allow farmers to use gross income in calculating their PPP loans. Before it passed, he said the payments were based on net income, which is income after deductions and expenses. He said this number is often low because of the amount of depreciation farmers have to claim on their farm equipment.

“Family farmers and ranchers have had limited ability to access the Paycheck Protection Program because of a legislative technicality. This bill fixes this oversight so that our farming and ranching communities get the help they need to get through the pandemic,” said Senator Hickenlooper.

Marshall said the changes were helpful and have provided help for much of the agriculture industry. Unfortunately, he said certain farm and ranch partnerships were left out of the changes. He said while Congress meant to include partnerships, the SBA interpreted the statute that was passed and did not include the partnerships. He said SBA made it clear that short of legislation, they would not include partnerships under the new interpretation.

“Despite enormous challenges, Iowa’s farmers have continued to feed and fuel the world during COVID-19. And while some have been able to benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program, many of them—including partnerships and those who already had loans forgiven—have been unable to benefit from improvements made in the December COVID relief bill that gives farmers access to more generous loans. In a recent Small Business Committee hearing, I called for changes to be made so these folks can benefit from a higher loan amount, and this bill makes that fix to ensure Iowa’s farmers are getting the support they deserve,” said Senator Ernst.

Sen. Marshall said Representative Jim Hagedorn introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

To watch Marshall’s Senate floor remarks, click HERE.

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