Comprehensive tax reform has long been a priority issue for Montana Farm Bureau and lobbyists have been working with colleagues at American Farm Bureau and our own Congressional delegation on the issue regularly over recent months.  The House and Senate have both passed their version of comprehensive tax reform and now it’s time for them to roll their sleeves up and hammer out some details.  Earlier this week, a conference committee was formed to discuss the differences between the two pieces of legislation and create one bill to put on President Trump’s desk by Christmas.

While the end goal in both the House and Senate is to deliver tax relief, the two bills have slightly different ways of accomplishing that.  The bills include different proposals regarding pass-throughs, cooperatives, cost recovery and estate tax.  Analysts have suggested that the Senate version includes better proposals for tax relief regarding pass-throughs, cooperatives and cost recovery, while the House version offers a stronger proposal for Estate Tax reform and eventual repeal.    When it comes to cash accounting, interest deductibility, like-kind exchanges and state and local taxes the House and Senate legislation offered similar language.  

No one knows how long it will take the Conference Committee to negotiate the differences and agree on a final bill.  We’re encouraged by their goal of putting it on the President’s desk by Christmas; however, once the Conference Committee completes its work both the House and Senate will need to vote on and pass the new version before sending it to the White House.

For a more detailed break-down of what’s in each version, check out AFBF’s side-by-side bill comparison or the information put together by the Tax Foundation.  

MFBF National Affairs Director, Nicole Rolf, is following the topic closely.  Nicole may be reached at or 587-3153.