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Tax policy and farm capital investment: Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation

Tax policy and farm capital investment: Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to estimate the impact of Internal Revenue Code cost recovery provisions – Section 179 and “bonus depreciation” – on farm capital investment. Design/methodology/approach– The authors construct a synthetic panel of data consisting of cohorts of similar farms based on state and production specialization using the USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey for years 1996-2012. Employing panel data methods, the authors are able to control for time-invariant fixed effects, as well as the effects of past investment on current investment. Findings– The authors estimate statistically significant investment demand elasticities with respect to the Section 179 expensing deduction of between 0.28 and 0.50. A change in bonus depreciation, on average, had little impact on capital investment. Practical implications– The estimates suggest there is a modest effect of the cost recovery provisions on investment overall, but a stronger effect on farms that have more than $10,000 in gross cash farm income. There are other implications for the agricultural sector: the provisions may encourage technology adoption with its associated benefits, such as reduced cost of production and improved conservation practices. On the other hand, the policy could contribute to the growing concentration in production as large commercial farms expand their operated acreage to take advantage of increasingly efficient physical capital. Originality/value– To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first research to use a nationally representative dataset to estimate to impact of Section 179 and “bonus depreciation” on farm investment. The findings provide evidence of the provisions’ impact on farm capital purchases. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Agricultural Finance Review Emerald Publishing

Tax policy and farm capital investment: Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation

Agricultural Finance Review , Volume 76 (2): 24 – Jul 4, 2016

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0002-1466
DOI
10.1108/AFR-07-2015-0031
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to estimate the impact of Internal Revenue Code cost recovery provisions – Section 179 and “bonus depreciation” – on farm capital investment. Design/methodology/approach– The authors construct a synthetic panel of data consisting of cohorts of similar farms based on state and production specialization using the USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey for years 1996-2012. Employing panel data methods, the authors are able to control for time-invariant fixed effects, as well as the effects of past investment on current investment. Findings– The authors estimate statistically significant investment demand elasticities with respect to the Section 179 expensing deduction of between 0.28 and 0.50. A change in bonus depreciation, on average, had little impact on capital investment. Practical implications– The estimates suggest there is a modest effect of the cost recovery provisions on investment overall, but a stronger effect on farms that have more than $10,000 in gross cash farm income. There are other implications for the agricultural sector: the provisions may encourage technology adoption with its associated benefits, such as reduced cost of production and improved conservation practices. On the other hand, the policy could contribute to the growing concentration in production as large commercial farms expand their operated acreage to take advantage of increasingly efficient physical capital. Originality/value– To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first research to use a nationally representative dataset to estimate to impact of Section 179 and “bonus depreciation” on farm investment. The findings provide evidence of the provisions’ impact on farm capital purchases.

Journal

Agricultural Finance ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 4, 2016

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