2015 Accomplishments

  • Secured a two year extension of 3-year-depreciation for all race horses retroactive to January 1, 2015 through 2016. From 2009 through 2014, race horses could be depreciated over three years, regardless of when they were placed in service.  That change, which eliminated the 7-year depreciation period for race horses and made all race horses eligible for three-year depreciation, expired at the end of 2014. 
  • Helped achieve a permanent extension of the Section 179 business deduction to $500,000. It had reverted to $25,000 at the end of 2014.  Anyone in the horse business can now immediately depreciate up to $500,000 of the cost of any investment in business assets, including horses, purchased and placed in service after January 1, 2015.  The deduction is reduced dollar-for-dollar once investment in all one’s business activities hit $2 million. 
  • Helped achieve a five year extension of bonus depreciation for qualifying new property, including assets used in the horse business, such as horses and other equipment, purchased and placed in service after January 1, 2015.  The bonus depreciation percentage is 50 percent for property placed in service during 2015, 2016 and 2017 and phases down to 40 percent in 2018, and 30 percent in 2019. The first use of the horse or equipment must begin with the taxpayer. This had expired at the end of 2014.
  • Supported restoring and making permanent favorable tax treatment for land donated for conservation purposes, particularly land donated by farmers and ranchers. This will benefit horse farms and help protect land for equestrian uses.
  • Worked with other industries to secure, in the FY2016 omnibus spending bill, beneficial provisions relating to the H-2B temporary, non-agricultural worker program, including a returning worker exemption to the visa cap and improvements to some of the most onerous provisions of the 2015 H-2B rule.  These changes make the H-2B program less burdensome for employers, including those in the horse industry.
  • Worked with other recreational users to re-authorize the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP) that provides $85 million in annual funding for trails throughout the country. RTP provides funding directly to the states for recreational trails and trail-related facilities for all recreational trail users and has greatly benefited equestrians.
  • Launched with the American Association of Equine Practitioners the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) that will collect and report real time information about disease outbreaks as well as provide the information needed to respond to and manage those outbreaks. The EDCC will help protect the horse industry from the threat of infectious disease outbreaks and keep horse moving domestically and internationally.
  • Held the second “100 Day Horse Challenge” as part of the AHC’s Time to Ride initiative that seeks to increase awareness of, and interest in, horse-related activities. Hundreds of stables, organizations and businesses participated in the “100 Day Horse Challenge” by hosting events that attracted over 41,000 newcomers to horse activities.
  • Continued to gain support for the AHC Welfare Code of Practice. The code of practice is a broad set of principles designed to establish good welfare procedures for organizations to follow to “Put the Horse First,” and has been endorsed by 53 national horse organizations.
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