Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the (CARES Act)
Neil Burnette and Clint Bain, Legislative Committee Co-Chairs
In response to the national crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has passed a massive stimulus package assisting both businesses and individuals. The stimulus package will impact the Farm Service Agency and our NASCOE membership.
Below is a brief summary of these provisions:
- The bill provides $3 million for hiring temporary staff and paying for overtime expenses at the Farm Service Agency to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus.
- The bill includes a $14 billion boost in funding authority for USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation.
- The legislation provides $9.5 billion for assisting livestock operations, including dairy farmers, as well as fruit-and-vegetable (specialty) crop producers. Farmers who sell directly to farmers markets, schools and restaurants would also be eligible for aid.
- The bill allows the Secretary of Agriculture to extend the term of a marketing assistance loans for any commodity to 12 months. The authority will expire September 30th, 2020.
- The stimulus package provides payments to individuals based on your 2018 or 2019 adjusted gross income. The maximum amount you can receive is $1,200, or if married filing jointly, $2,400 per couple. That amount phases out for single filers with an AGI between $75,000 and $99,000, joint filers with an AGI between $150,000 and $198,000 and heads of household with an AGI between $112,500 and $146,500. Those who qualify for the $1,200 credit will also receive an additional $500 for each qualifying dependent 16 years old or younger. The stimulus money is technically a tax credit for 2020 that will be paid out, in advance, as soon as possible. Individuals with direct deposits established with the IRS could see these deposits within a couple of weeks.
The Legislative team has been closely following this process and we will monitor how the department responds to these opportunities as a result of the increased funding. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.