The virtual farms that sprung up across the country have been criticized for making money off the back of the government’s $15 billion mining tax.
The new “Agricultural Products and Services Tax Credit” will provide a refund to the government for farmers who make their own food, according to a news release from the USDA.
Farmers who already earn a profit of more than $1,000 and can’t sell it directly to consumers can use the credit to buy goods and services from a third party like a local grocery store or food delivery service.
Farm and ranch producers can also get a tax credit for farm income, as long as the farm produces enough to pay for the product.
“We’re trying to keep the farm small, small-scale and local, so we’re trying not to make too much money out of it,” said Bob Kiely, a senior economist at the nonprofit group Economic Policy Institute.
Farm subsidies are a staple of the U.S. agriculture industry.
The farm credit is a welcome change from what many have been calling “cash for nothing” farms, which are typically run by family farmers.
That system has created a vast industry that supports a number of companies that can pay their farmers.
But some have been unhappy that the credit doesn’t apply to the farms that already earn profits.
“It’s a big incentive for farmers to be in this business, but it doesn’t help them much,” said David Bier, a retired real estate broker who lives in northern Wisconsin.
“You can’t just get money and go away.”
Farmers can earn up to $300 for each year of the farm and $500 for each additional year, depending on the size of the business.
The USDA announced the new tax credit on Monday.
It applies to the value of goods and farm equipment produced by the farms, not the value the farmers pay the government.
The credits are part of a new farm incentive program, known as the Agricultural Products and Service Tax Credit, or APSTC, announced in February.
It allows U., D.C.-based farmers to take a tax break of up to 75 percent of their farm income to help offset the $15 million cost of the tax.
It also helps support the farm, including salaries, health insurance and other benefits.
The APSTCA has been credited with helping to offset the cost of several farm-related programs.