Congress Passes Bills With Horse Industry Implications

In December Congress passed three bills that include provisions favorable to the horse industry.
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The 114th Congress, though it started with the partisan gridlock that has become the new normal in Washington, ended the year with a burst of productivity by passing several major pieces of legislation including a tax extender bill, an omnibus appropriations bill, and a five-year highway bill. Each of these bills includes provisions favorable to the horse industry that were priorities for the American Horse Council.

“The AHC works on a diverse set of issues that impact the horse industry, often over the course of several years,” said AHC President Jay Hickey. “For this reason it’s not every day that we see several AHC priorities pass Congress in the span of a month. These three bills included tax provisions, guest worker reforms, and trail programs that will benefit the racing, showing, and recreational segments of the industry.”

The tax extender bill, the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015,” reinstates three-year-depreciation for all racehorses for two more years. It also increases the Section 179 business expense deduction back to $500,000 and makes this provision permanent. The bill restores bonus depreciation for qualifying new property, including assets used in the horse business such as horses and other equipment, purchased and placed in service during 2015 through 2019. The bill also restores and makes permanent favorable tax treatment for land donated for conservation purposes, particularly land donated by farmers and ranchers, like horse owners and breeders.

“These provisions benefit racing and everyone who is in the horse business,” Hickey said. “Importantly, horse businesses, breeders, and farms can now make long term plans to take advantage of these tax provisions instead of just hoping Congress will extend them for one year, as has been the case recently

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