Metzger bill raises farm tax credit to help retain workers

State Sen. Jen Metzger announced a new bill this week to increase an existing tax credit for farmers to bolster their finances and help them attract and retain employees.

Current law allowed farmers a $500 refundable credit this year for each worker who put in 500 or more hours, an amount that is set to drop to $400 next year and rise to $600 in 2021 before the credit program expires.

Metzger, a Rosendale Democrat, said her proposal would raise the credit to $800 per employee in 2021 and to $1,200 in 2022, and extend it indefinitely.

“This legislation is significant and demonstrates that Senator Metzger understands what farmers need,” Chris Kelder of Kelder’s Farm in Kerhonkson said in Metzger’s press release. “Those of us who work the land know that the margins are thin, and having this kind of support will go a long way to sustain our operations.¬†Furthermore, it offers us additional incentives to hire and keep the farmworkers we need.”

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