Senate passes three bills to help farmers

The state Senate voted Wednesday to double a tax credit that helps farmers pay their workers raises and to create a new credit to help dairy farmers expand their operations to make yogurt and other popular products.

Doubling the “workforce retention credit” – a proposal the Senate also passed in 2016 and 2017 and the Assembly did not take up – would bring the credit to $600 per employee instead of $300 for this year and cost the state an estimated $15 million in the 2019 state fiscal year. The dairy bill is new and is not expected to have much fiscal impact.

The Senate also unanimously passed a bill that day – the Legislature’s annual “Agriculture Day” – to give farm trucks a 10 percent discount on Thruway tolls.

“Agriculture is the backbone of our economy in New York State and I’m pleased to support these common-sense bills which will help our local farmers,” Sen. John Bonacic, a Mount Hope Republican, said in a press release promoting the bills.

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