The PVGA Board of Directors held their spring meeting in the state Capitol in Harrisburg on Monday, March 21. Prior to the meeting, members of the Board meet with Chris Ramsey in the office Sen. Lisa Baker to discuss the Association’s concerns with stormwater fees that some municipalities are imposing on farmers. Sen. Baker has introduced SB 637 that provides for more reasonable stormwater fees for farms.
They also met with Sen. Scott Hutchinson who chairs the Senate Finance Committee. While they discussed all the Association’s 2022 State Legislative Priorities, they especially noted the priority dealing with making Pennsylvania income tax laws consistent with federal tax regulations regarding Section 179 business deductions. Currently, the amount allowed for business equipment deductions is different for state and federal taxes, requiring business owners to maintain two depreciation schedules. They also discussed the Association’s number one issue – seeking to eliminate the need for H-2A employers to pay state unemployment taxes. H-2A workers cannot collect unemployment benefits but employers are still required to pay state unemployment taxes on their wages. No federal unemployment taxes are due and PVGA is advocating that they be exempt from state unemployment taxes as well.
Additional visits with state representatives were also planned, but at the last minute the House leaders cancelled the House sessions for the week so those appointments were cancelled. The Directors did deliver copies of the Association’s 2022 State Legislative Priorities to the offices of about 75 legislators in the Capitol. Copies are mailed to the rest of the legislators later in the week.
At their spring meeting the Directors discussed the following issues:
- approving the contract with Troxell Administrative Services for April 2022 to March 2023;
- advertising the Executive Director’s position in preparation for Mr. Troxell’s retirement
- using the Keystone Fund earnings designated for research in 2020 and 2021 to fund the General Fund research allocations;
- establishing a potato research line to potentially fund specialty potato variety trials
- establishing a Food Safety Committee and a Labor Committee to focus on these important areas of government regulation.
Since a quorum was not present at the meeting, the decisions at the meeting will need to be submitted to the other Directors for their approval.