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American Corn Growers say tax proposal benefits questionable: 'We need some income before we need tax relief.'

(Monday, April 28, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- The following is an ACGA news release.

Contact: Larry Mitchell,(202) 835-0330

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2003--- Larry Mitchell, CEO for the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA), today expressed his organization's concerns about the benefits farmers may receive from the economic stimulus package currently being debated by the United States Senate.

"There is no question that rural America and the nation's farmers are in dire need of an effective economic stimulus package," said Mitchell. "Our message to Congress is that the huge tax cuts now being promoted by the White House and debated on Capitol Hill will miss the mark for our needs."

"Farmers need income much worse than they need a tax cut," explained Mitchell. "America's farm economy is coming off one of its worst years since 1934. Low prices, poor crops, continuing drought conditions and rapidly escalating production costs have devastated many farm families."

"The simple fact is that the average farm household in America has little or no income," added Mitchell. "According to the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, earnings in 2002 for farm operator households from their farming activities were only $2,430. That is only $200 per month that farm families received from their hard work, investment and management. It is hard to understand in the light of this statistic why officials from USDA are touting the tax benefits to farm families with incomes of $80,000, when their own data reveals that the average income for farm families is only three percent of their exaggerated figure."

Mitchell expanded his remarks by explaining, "This disastrously low income for farm families coincidentally comes at a time when large multi-national grain companies are publicly reporting 60 percent increases in profits. However, are the tax cuts really for them? I can see where they would indeed have a huge tax obligation - that is if they actually pay taxes and don't do like many companies who have moved their taxable income to off-shore foreign banks."

Mitchell concluded his remarks by calling on Congress to carefully craft this, the fourth of the President's economic stimulus packages, in a more prudent fashion to ensure the benefits are directed to those who need it most.

For more information on the USDA statistics cited in this statement, please go to the ERS website at http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/FarmIncome/Data/Hh_t5.htm

For more information please visit the ACGA website at http://www.ACGA.org