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Iowa Corn Growers Association Accomplishes Key 2016 State Legislative Priorities

April 29, 2016

As the 2016 Iowa legislative session nears its end, the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) President Bob Hemesath, a farmer from Decorah, says notable progress occurred on many legislative issues positively impacting agriculture.

“We succeeded in influencing the passage of many of ICGA’s state legislative priorities for the year, including coupling of Section 179 small business expensing, a first in the nation biorenewable production tax credit, extension of funding for the renewable fuels infrastructure program and continuation of income tax credits for retailers that offer higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel at the fuel pump,” said ICGA President Bob Hemesath. “While we are disappointed that the legislature was unable to come together to pass a substantial plan for long-term increased water quality funding, it proved to be a very good state legislative year for Iowa Corn Growers Association members who guide and establish the organization’s policies and priorities.”

2016 ICGA State Legislative Successes include:

  • Section 179- Passage of a one year, full coupling of the Iowa Tax Code Section 179 to the permanent federal provision for the 2015 tax year, allowing farmers and small businesses to expense and depreciate capital expenses on their tax returns. Iowa's farm families rely on these tax provisions to manage their cash flow and reinvest in their businesses. In a year when taxable income will be lower, reliable tax deductions are extremely important. With volatile commodity prices and general downturn in the agricultural economy, this measure keeps Iowa's rural economy going strong and allows farmers to manage cash flow when they experience a tighter ag economy.
  • Biorenewable Tax Credit – This first in the nation biorenewable incentive provides tax credits for the production of bio-based products that are non-food and non-fuel. As the leader in corn and biofuels production, Iowa ranks at the top for biomass and feedstock availability for biorenewable production. The law makes available approximately $92.5 million in credits over ten years to encourage companies to come to Iowa for the research, development, and commercialization of new biochemical products. Governor Branstad signed this into law in April.
  • Ethanol Infrastructure – The Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) received one full year of funding at $3 million. The program provides cost share dollars for retailers that choose to install flex fuel pumps and other E15, E85, and/or biodiesel compatible above-ground infrastructure.
  • Biofuel Retailer Incentives – This incentive ensures Iowans have a choice at the pump to fuel up with homegrown, renewable ethanol and biodiesel.  It extends the per gallon income tax benefits for retail stations who choose to offer higher blends of ethanol (E15 and E85) and/or biodiesel (B5 and B11) to their customers at the pump through 2024.

“There are two main factors that contribute to the success of ICGA’s state legislative policy efforts,” explained Hemesath. “First, ICGA members are highly engaged in fostering relationships with their elected officials in bringing key issues to the table. Second, our organization is respected for its bi-partisan approach to achieving our policy objectives. The success of our policy process hinges on being able to bring both sides together for the best interest of Iowa’s farmers.”


The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is an 8,000-member strong grassroots-driven organization, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, serving members across the state, and lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its farmer members to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability. For more information, visit iowacorn.org.

For More Information:

Shannon Textor
Director of Marketing and Communications
Iowa Corn Growers Association

Lisa Cassady
Public Relations Manager
Iowa Corn Growers Association

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