The Nevada Farm Bureau Federation is the biggest advocacy organization representing Nevada’s agriculture community. As such, we advocate for federal and state policies that allow for farmers to focus completely on growing their crops. This is why we are concerned about the Health Insurance Tax, or HIT tax. The HIT tax is a federal sales tax on the healthcare that farmers purchase for themselves and their families. It raises the cost of their healthcare, and could force some farmers to choose a less quality plan, or even forgo coverage all together.
The HIT has been estimated to impact 156 million Americans, with 50% of those paying the HIT earning an income between $10,000 and $50,000. A recent study by Oliver Wyman shows that families in the small employer market could be faced with $500 on average in higher premiums in 2018 as a result of the HIT.
The Nevada Farm Bureau urges Nevada’s congressional delegation to consider the detrimental effects this can have on our state’s agriculture and farming communities. The HIT was delayed by a bipartisan group of Congress for 2017, and another delay in 2018 could help Nevada’s farm community allocate much-needed resources to their farms, rather than paying for a tax for which they get nothing in return.
It is vital that Congress delays the HIT tax before the holidays, because farmers need to know how to budget for next year. Without immediate action by Congress to delay the tax, the HIT is expected to increase premiums nationwide by $14.3 billion next year, if the tax goes into effect in January.
Nevada’s Senator Dean Heller is backing legislation to prevent the HIT tax from taking effect in 2018. We respectfully urge him to push to ensure that this does indeed happen. In addition, we urge the rest of Nevada’s congressional delegation to join Sen. Heller in ensuring that HIT delay for 2018 become an immediate priority.
Farm Bureau and others are working at all levels to promote the necessary changes to keep the HIT from harming citizens as we go forward.