Legislative Summary for the 90th General Assembly
We are pleased to provide this Legislative Summary of the regular session of the 90th General Assembly of Arkansas. It is an overview of the dynamics of and actions taken during the recent 2015 session on our priorities and other issues of special interest to rural constituents.
If you would like to have additional copies of this summary for a county event, we are glad to provide those with enough notice. You can obtain those copies by contacting one of the Public Policy staff.
Forms now Ready for Grain Drying and Storage Energy Exemption
Farmers who do on-farm grain storage or drying may now fill out paperwork to gain a sales tax exemption on energy. Act 1401 of 2013 provides an exemption from state and local sales taxes for electricity, natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas used by qualifying grain drying and storage facilities beginning July 1, 2014.The bill that created the exemption was sponsored by Senator Johnathan Dismang of Searcy during the 2013 legislative session.
The eligible utility must be separately metered and used only for the purpose of the exemption. If a utility is sold for any other purpose, it will not be eligible for the exemption. Multiple use meters that provide the utility services for both grain drying and storage facilities and for other types of structures, facilities or equipment are not eligible for the exemption. Before the exemption is allowed, those claiming the exemption must obtain a certificate from DFA to provide to the utility supplier. The exemption does NOT include utilities used in irrigation. Dyed diesel is taxed at a per gallon rate thanks to Act 87 of 2007, also supported by Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation.
The form is linked here.
Updated list of NAICS codes
Farmers Need to Certify Utility Meters for Sales Tax Exemption
Farmers may still sign up for the exemption for livestock, aquaculture and horticulture facilities. Farmers who are eligible for the sales tax exemption on utilities detailed in Act 1441 of 2013 (HB 1039) that was passed during the 2013 legislative session will need to get their utility accounts and meters certified by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration in order to receive their exemption. Farmers will submit their paperwork to DF&A for certification. The agency will then send farmers a certificate that farmers provide to their utility companies. The exemption starts January 1, 2014 but utility providers will not apply the exemption without proper documentation.
DF&A is sending out these certificates as soon as farmers submit their paperwork. More than 1,800 farmers have applied for the exemption created under HB 1039. Rep. Jeff Wardlaw of Hermitage was the lead House sponsor of the bill during the 2013 session. He partnered with more than 80 co-sponsors to pass the legislation.
Act 1441 of 2013 provides an exemption from state and local sales taxes for electricity, natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas used by qualifying agricultural structures and qualifying aquaculture and horticulture equipment beginning January 1, 2014.
The eligible utility must be separately metered and used only for the purpose of the exemption. If a utility is sold for any other purpose, it will not be eligible for the exemption. Multiple use meters that provide the utility services for both eligible farm structures and facilities and for other types of structures, facilities or equipment are not eligible for the exemption. Before the exemption is allowed, the farmer seeking the exemption must obtain a certificate from DFA to provide to the utility supplier.
Fact Sheet on who qualifies for Act 1441
Act 1441 Form
(Save PDF form locally to your computer then open with Adobe Reader, it will not open in an internet browser)
To complete the forms, you will need the federal NAICS code for your business. We have prepared an abbreviated list of NAICS codes to help. If you do not see your code it can be found at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?chart_code=11&search=2012 NAICS Search
Upon completion, they need to be returned to Sales and Use Tax Section, P O Box 3566, Little Rock, AR 72203-3566
If you have questions about the forms, you can call DF&A at 501-682-7105 or email them through the website www.dfa.arkansas.gov
If a farmer does not have their meters certified by January 1, 2014,
there are ways to reclaim those tax dollars. This process applies only
to Act 1441. Farmers eligible for Act 1401 (sales tax exemption for
utilities used in grain storage and drying) will complete a similar
process next spring. Act 1401 does not take effect until July 1, 2014.
DF&A does not have that paperwork quite ready yet and is not ready
to process those requests.
Farm Truck Regs
Farm Bureau recently unveiled a new publication called Farm Truck Regs. It includes condensed information about hauling agriculture commodities and regulations applied to farm trucks. Printed copies are available upon request. For a quick view of the publication visit http://www.arfb.com/legislation-regulations/truckregs_and_highwayinfo.aspx.
Notification Requirements of the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act requires all employers with more than
$500,000 in annual gross receipts to provide their employees with an
“Exchange Notice” by October 1. The notice must be provided to all
current and new full-time and part-time employees, including H2A
workers, and seasonal employees. This notice is required regardless of
whether or not an employer offers health insurance to their employee(s).
The fact sheet below has been developed for farm employers, offering
guidance on how to comply with this new and ongoing requirement. Also
below are sample forms that employers can use to provide the required
With the pending deadline quickly approaching, we wanted to take this
opportunity to remind our members of this requirement. More information
is also available through the U.S. Department of Labor
Fact Sheet for Farm Employers.pdf
Sample Notice Form for Employers NOT Providing Coverage.pdf
Sample Notice Form for Employers Providing Coverage.pdf
Sample Notice No. 3
Legislative Summary for the first session of the Eighty-ninth General Assembly
The 89th General Assembly wrapped up officially on May 17. Farm Bureau has prepared a summary on issues impacting agriculture and rural Arkansas. The legislature dealt with a huge volume of bills and issues so the summary is in no way comprehensive. Many of the issues that were in the headlines are not covered in the summary simply because they were adequately covered elsewhere.
Arkansas Farm Bureau Legislative Summary
The legislature passed a number of tax cuts during the 2013 session. We have prepared a spreadsheet that lists the agriculture related cuts and their effective dates.
Agriculture Tax Cuts.pdf
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