01 Apr 2014
in Consolidation, Control
Here’s an important legislative action alert from Missouri Rural Crisis:
STOP THE CORPORATE AG BEEF TAX!
Please Call Key Reps & Senators TODAY!
Tell Them to Vote NO on SB 591 & HB 1496!
Missouri’s Beef Producers Are Already Paying Enough into this Program!
Corporate, industrial ag supporters LOVE the Beef Check-Off Tax. Since the 1980’s, farmers have been forced to pay into the mandatory federal Check-Off program that funds organizations that have consistently supported industrial agriculture and vertical integration of the livestock industry, while opposing policies that are good for Missouri’s cattle producers like Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and fair-market competition. And, now they want more!
RIGHT NOW, the Missouri legislature is attempting to pass a bill that would allow the Missouri Beef Council to collect another $.50 per head Beef Check-Off Tax from Missouri cattle producers. This would amount to over $1 million a year. House Bill 1496 & Senate Bill 591 would repeal a MO law that prohibits the state from collecting any fees in addition to the fees collected by the federal government under the current beef check-off program. These additional and unnecessary taxes would be imposed on Missouri cattle producers every time they sell a cow or calf.
If SB 591 or HB 1496 passes, the Beef Council could simply impose this $.50 tax on producers or they could hold a referendum of a small minority of producers that could impose this new tax on every cattle producer in the state.
Currently, the vast majority of the existing check-off dollars paid by cattle producers ends up in the coffers of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Over 80% of the NCBA’s funding comes from the beef check-off. And, unfortunately, the NCBA consistently supports positions that are anti-farmer and anti-consumer. The NCBA’s positions include opposing Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and theenforcement of anti-trust laws, and supporting packer ownership of livestockand giving fast-track trade authority to the president. Missouri beef producers do not need to pay any more Beef Check-Off taxes!
Please Call & Email Senators and Representatives Below—Please Tell Them the FACTS:
- This is a mandatory tax on Missouri cattle producers.
- A $.50 tax on every head of cattle sold in MO would mean over $1 million per year that producers could be spending in their local, rural economies or on their farming operations.
- Missouri cattle producers are already paying over $2 million per year in the mandated federal Beef Check-Off program. We don’t need any more unaccountable beef check-off programs and taxes.
- Mandatory check-off programs are government programs, NOT producer programs. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that mandatory check-off programs are “government speech”.
- If producers believe it’s in their best interest to increase the amount they pay into the check-off program, a point-of-sale VOLUNTARY check-off could be implemented at any time without this legislation. This would be a market-based solution, not a government mandate and tax.
- Legislators should not go on record as supporting this unpopular beef tax.
Oppose the Beef Tax Bills—Senate Bill 591 & House Bill 1496.
Thank YOU! and please let us know if you get any feedback!
Missouri Rural Crisis Center