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The American Horse Council (AHC) is the only organization that represents every segment of that vast horse population. Every day, the AHC communicates with Congress and other federal agencies to ensure that each understands the economic, agricultural, sporting, and recreational importance of the horse industry.

This can be tedious work, but without open lines of communication with our leaders in Washington, D.C. we could lose the ability to enjoy our horses and our work in the industry that we love. We hope that our efforts ensure that these federal officials will support a legislative and regulatory structure for the horse industry that encourages individuals and other entities to support and participate in the horse industry, to invest in our horses, and to sponsor and support our events and activities.

The AHC believes that the more opportunities there are to use horses in various activities, the better the overall health of the industry and those who participate. Our goal is to keep opportunities open so that EVERYONE in the horse industry is able to thrive.

Because we are a not-for-profit organization, we depend on you – a person who is devoted to your horse and to your sport – to help us stand up for our rights as horse enthusiasts. Join the American Horse Council today and help us to help you, your horse, your sport, and your industry!

It is extremely important for everyone in the horse community to present a unified front and show Congress and other federal agencies that the horse industry is not only important to their constituents, but is also a large, economically diverse industry that provides hundreds of thousands of US jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenue. The AHC is the only Washington, D.C. based organization solely dedicated to representing all horses, equestrians, and every segment of the diverse horse community and industry.

The AHC provides many updates on important issues affecting the industry, and explains to its members how they can contact their elected officials to speak up about these issues. By joining the AHC, you give strength to the horse industry’s voice.

To learn more about supporting the AHC and becoming a member today visit ahcbeta.flywheelsites.com/ahc-memberships. [post_title] => The Future is in Your Hands – Take the Reins! What You Can Do to Give Strength to the Horse Industry [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-future-is-in-your-hands-take-the-reins-what-you-can-do-to-give-strength-to-the-horse-industry [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 05:38:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:38:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=274 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 271 [post_author] => 2953 [post_date] => 2015-10-11 05:27:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:27:00 [post_content] => Despite the acrimony and brinksmanship, Congress eventually passed an extension of the payroll tax reductions in late December maintaining the 2% reduction in payroll taxes for workers and the self-employed. The relief is good for two months through February, 2012. Negotiations are already underway between the House and Senate to find a way to extend payroll tax relief through 2012.

But the bill ultimately passed by Congress did not extend the Section 179 expense deduction or 100% bonus depreciation at the 2011 levels. Both provisions have returned to prior lower levels.

Section 179 Expense Deduction

The expense deduction has returned to $125,000 for 2012 and phases out dollar-for-dollar once purchases of depreciable property reach $500,000. The 179 expense deduction applies to horses, farm equipment and other depreciable property used in a business and permits a horse owner or breeder to write-off up to $125,000 in assets purchased and placed in service in one’s horse business in 2012.

The expense allowance for 2010-2011 was $500,000 and phased out after purchases exceeded $2 million.

Bonus Depreciation

In addition, bonus depreciation has returned to 50% for 2012. Bonus depreciation allows horse owners and other horse businesses to write off 50% of the cost of “new” capital assets, including horses, when purchased and placed in service in 2012. To be eligible for bonus depreciation the original use of the property must commence with the taxpayer. Any prior use makes the property ineligible.

Bonus depreciation was 100% for eligible assets purchased and placed in service from September 8, 2010 through 2011.

Both provisions can be used together.

Retroactive Change is Possible

“It is possible that the higher levels could be reinstated retroactively to January 1, 2012. In fact, the House-passed payroll-tax bill extended 100% bonus depreciation through 2012, even though the Senate bill did not,” said AHC president Jay Hickey. “The negotiations between now and the end of February on the one-year extension of the payroll tax reduction could include other changes to the tax code, such as the expense deduction or bonus depreciation. But this is speculation at this point.” [post_title] => American Horse Council Explains Changes in Tax Benefits for Horse Owners [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => american-horse-council-explains-changes-in-tax-benefits-for-horse-owners [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 05:27:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:27:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=271 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 272 [post_author] => 2953 [post_date] => 2015-10-11 05:30:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:30:37 [post_content] => Despite the low approval ratings for Congress, Americans are still interested in what Congress is doing. Why? Because what Congress does - or does not do - impacts the horse industry. This is true regardless of your breed or discipline, whether you are an individual owner, run a track or show, own a horse business, work in the industry as a service provider or ride for recreation.

It is important that we build relationships with our elected leaders in Washington and that they understand and appreciate the $102 billion horse industry’s contribution to the economic, sporting and recreational sectors of the U.S. and their states. 2012 is a terrific opportunity to do this because it is an election year and so many members of Congress and new candidates are running for federal office and they want to meet you.

One of the best ways to build a relationship is to simply invite a member of Congress to your farm or ranch or to an equestrian event back in the district or state. Invite other horse people so there is a built-in crowd of voters. A personal experience with the horse community makes an impression.

All across the country there are farms and ranches getting ready for the breeding season, a great time to showcase the industry. There are horse shows, large and small, races, rodeos, organized and disorganized trail rides, horse sales, etc. Each of these events is an opportunity to build a relationship with a member of Congress or a candidate and to help them understand the horse industry a little bit better. Remember that going to a horse farm or event is a pleasant way to spend a few hours. Having voters there makes it even more pleasant for those running for Congress.

Building relationships with members of Congress is more important now than ever. There are many issues before Congress such as taxes, federal spending, immigration reform and racing legislation, trails legislation and disease programs that could all have profound implications for the horse industry. Only by having personal exchanges with their constituents, who are involved with the horse industry, will members of Congress fully appreciate how these issues impact the industry.

If you would like to invite a member of Congress to your facility or your organization has an upcoming event you think would be appropriate for your Senator or Representative to attend, please contact the AHC. The AHC will help you invite them and provide any guidance you might need. You can call or email the AHC at (202) 296-4031 or AHC@horsecouncil.org for help. Ask for our brochure, Getting Involved in the 2012 Elections, which will give you some pointers.

Please get involved. You will be helping yourself and your industry. And remember that while Congress’ approval rating as a whole is very low, polls still show that most people feel their Senator or Representative is doing a good job so you might even enjoy the visit. They will. [post_title] => American Horse Council Helps YOU to Connect with Congress [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => american-horse-council-helps-you-to-connect-with-congress [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 05:30:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:30:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=272 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 273 [post_author] => 2953 [post_date] => 2015-10-11 05:32:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:32:54 [post_content] => Despite substantial efforts to recruit and train U.S. workers, horse farms, ranches, horse shows, trainers and others must rely on foreign workers and use both the H-2B and H-2A temporary foreign worker programs to meet their labor needs. For this reason immigration polices have a profound impact on the horse industry.

In 2011 numerous bills were introduced in the 112th Congress concerning immigration, most enforcement oriented. Most notably, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2885), which would require all employers to use the federal E-verify system to make sure their workers are authorized to work. The House Judiciary Committee held hearings on this bill and reported it out of committee on September 21.

“In the Summer and Fall we saw a lot of action in Congress on immigration. Committees in both the House and Senate held numerous hearings and the House Judiciary Committee approved a mandatory E-verify bill. Since then however, there has been little movement on the issue because even Members of Congress who are in favor of beefing up enforcement and passing mandatory E-verify can’t agree on the best way to proceed,” said AHC Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass.

In response to concerns that mandatory E-verify would cripple the U.S. agricultural industry several bills, like the American Specialty Agriculture Act (H.R.2847) and the Legal Agricultural Workforce Act (H.R.2895), were introduced. These bills would create new, less burdensome temporary foreign agricultural worker programs to replace the current H-2A program. However, no consensus emerged on which of the many proposals on the table would best accommodate the needs of agriculture.

“It is absolutely vital for the horse industry to have access to functioning, efficient, and cost effective foreign temporary worker programs to meet its labor needs and the horse industry can not support any bill unless it provides for those needs,” said AHC President Jay Hickey. “We would like Congress to reform our system in a comprehensive way. However, as we enter another election year it is unlikely Congress will have much of a desire to deal with a hot-button issue like immigration.”

“It is likely more immigration bills will be introduced in 2012 and there maybe action taken on specific issues like the H-2B wage rule, but right now it doesn’t look like Congress will take action on major legislation like mandatory E-verify,” said Pendergrass. [post_title] => American Horse Council’s 2012 Immigration Reform Outlook [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => american-horse-councils-2012-immigration-reform-outlook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 05:32:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:32:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=273 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 850 [post_author] => 2810 [post_date] => 2015-12-21 16:50:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-12-21 21:50:07 [post_content] =>

On December 18, 2015, an omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the government was passed by Congress and signed by the President.  This bill is a package of all 12 annual appropriations bills and will fund all government agencies and programs until the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2016.

The omnibus bill contains several provisions that impact the horse industry, including reforms to the H-2B temporary guest worker program, the U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA) FY 2016 appropriations bill, defunding of horse slaughter, and reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

“Notably, the bill includes several beneficial provisions relating to the H-2B temporary, non-agricultural worker program and would roll back some of the most onerous provisions of a 2015 H-2B rule,” said AHC president Jay Hickey.   “The AHC has been working to ensure these provisions were included in the omnibus bill and on reforms to the program for years.    These provisions will make the H-2B program less burdensome for employers, including those in the horse industry.”

“The bill contains vital funding for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS,) which is responsible for protecting and responding to contagious equine disease outbreaks.  The bill also includes funding for enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA). Adequate funding for APHIS, equine health, and the HPA are important for the welfare of U.S. horses and the economic health of the horse industry,” said Hickey.

The bill includes language that prohibits USDA from using any funds to provide inspectors at meat processing facilities that slaughter horses, continuing a block that begin in 2005, except for a brief period in 2012 and 2013.

No horse slaughter facilities are operating in the U.S. and this bill would effectively prevent any such facility from opening before September 30, 2016.

The language was included in the omnibus bill because the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment that prohibited funding for inspectors at horse slaughter facilities when they debated and approved their version of the FY 2016 USDA appropriations bill.  The Senate amendment was offered in committee by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and passed by a voice vote.

The bill will also reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for three years with funding of $450 million for the coming FY 2016, a nearly 50 percent increase over the previous level.  LWCF provides funds and matching grants to federal, state and local governments for the acquisition of land and water for recreation and the protection of natural resources. 

“The LWCF program had expired this year and there was some concern it might not get reauthorized in a timely fashion,” said AHC vice president of government affairs. “The program is responsible for adding millions of acres to the national parks system, national recreation areas, and state and local parks that include many trails for equestrians.”

More details about the bill can be found here:  https://www.horsecouncil.org/press-release/congress-approves-omnibus-bill-to-fund-government/

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The American Horse Council (AHC) is pleased to continue to recognize December 13th as National Day of the Horse.

In 2004, Congress designated December 13th as National Day of the Horse, and has been celebrated each year since. The day was established to encourage U.S. citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States.

“Horses have been inextricably linked to U.S. history and culture since its beginnings,” said AHC President Julie Broadway.  “They have contributed greatly to the advancement of our society from tilling the fields to grow crops for early settlers, rounding up livestock on ranches, and contributing $9.2 billion to the U.S. economy.”

“The AHC hopes that people will continue to recognize not only the importance of National Day of the Horse, but also the critical role that the AHC plays on their behalf here in Washington, DC,” said American Horse Council, AHC’s Director of Communications. “As such, we have a released a short video detailing the work the AHC does daily on behalf of all equines and equine owners in the United States.”

The short informational video can be viewed here.

The AHC encourages everyone to post on social media using the hashtag #NationalDayoftheHorse to continue to tell their personal stories of their equines and the joy they bring to people’s lives daily.

https://youtu.be/jmsyJU7jYbk 

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The American Horse Council (AHC) is the only organization that represents every segment of that vast horse population. Every day, the AHC communicates with Congress and other federal agencies to ensure that each understands the economic, agricultural, sporting, and recreational importance of the horse industry.

This can be tedious work, but without open lines of communication with our leaders in Washington, D.C. we could lose the ability to enjoy our horses and our work in the industry that we love. We hope that our efforts ensure that these federal officials will support a legislative and regulatory structure for the horse industry that encourages individuals and other entities to support and participate in the horse industry, to invest in our horses, and to sponsor and support our events and activities.

The AHC believes that the more opportunities there are to use horses in various activities, the better the overall health of the industry and those who participate. Our goal is to keep opportunities open so that EVERYONE in the horse industry is able to thrive.

Because we are a not-for-profit organization, we depend on you – a person who is devoted to your horse and to your sport – to help us stand up for our rights as horse enthusiasts. Join the American Horse Council today and help us to help you, your horse, your sport, and your industry!

It is extremely important for everyone in the horse community to present a unified front and show Congress and other federal agencies that the horse industry is not only important to their constituents, but is also a large, economically diverse industry that provides hundreds of thousands of US jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenue. The AHC is the only Washington, D.C. based organization solely dedicated to representing all horses, equestrians, and every segment of the diverse horse community and industry.

The AHC provides many updates on important issues affecting the industry, and explains to its members how they can contact their elected officials to speak up about these issues. By joining the AHC, you give strength to the horse industry’s voice.

To learn more about supporting the AHC and becoming a member today visit ahcbeta.flywheelsites.com/ahc-memberships. [post_title] => The Future is in Your Hands – Take the Reins! What You Can Do to Give Strength to the Horse Industry [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-future-is-in-your-hands-take-the-reins-what-you-can-do-to-give-strength-to-the-horse-industry [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 05:38:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:38:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=274 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 233 [max_num_pages] => 39 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => 1 [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => 1 [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 9dba89bc2458c234aca70e6c63389f24 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) ) )
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