Governor Walz declared last week ‘Grain Bin Safety Week’ in Minnesota to raise awareness of farm accidents and encourage support for grain bin safety grants that could help farmers improve their on-site storage facilities. This week, the Senate Tax Committee considered a bill that would ensure farmers purchasing new bins or improving current structures would not pay sales tax on those purchases.
The bill would add grain bins to the definition of farm machinery which is already exempt from Minnesota sales taxes. Testifiers noted that storage ability is becoming more essential for farmers to survive in this economic climate. Having an on-site grain bin allows farmers to choose where to sell their grain rather than being bound by prices at the closest, local elevator, and it allows them to better respond to price fluctuations in the market. With farm income at the lowest point in 23 years, a sales tax exemption could save farmers looking to invest thousands of dollars in these structures– a significant amount, especially during difficult times.
The Tax Committee laid over the bill for possible inclusion in the final tax bill. (SF 732)