The sweeping tax bill approved by congressional negotiators over the weekend is expected to have a dramatic impact on American industry. Heavy manufacturing and many real estate developers have railed against the loss of cherished tax incentives. But retailers and technology firms, which have long felt overtaxed, generally have cheered the move to lower overall corporate tax rates. While the enthusiasm of some early corporate tax-reform advocates has waned, some opponents have found the process less painful than anticipated.
With approval of a final bill by Congressional negotiators--and expected approval next month by the full House and Senate--American business is now bracing for this massive overhaul of the nation's tax system. Here is a look at how various industries will be affected:
To the extent that the conferees' tax measure reduces incentives for farming that is motivated solely by tax benefits, the nation's agricultural sector will probably be better off in the long run, said Dean Kleckner, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation's largest organization of farm families.
"Anything that discourages outside investment in agriculture is good," said the Iowa hog farmer.
Among provisions that will stymie "tax-code farming" are elimination of various provisions that have been at the heart of tax shelters. The bill also would limit the writeoff of seed and feed bought for future use--a technique that some "tax code farmers" have used to shift taxable funds from one year into another.