Thompson’s new bill would provide tax breaks for essential food, agricultural workers

U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) introduced a bipartisan bill last week to support food supply chain employees by providing tax relief for certain essential food and agriculture workers.

“Food security is national security, and employees in the supply chain are working overtime to ensure crops are harvested, shelves and coolers are stocked, and Americans have food on the table,” Rep. Thompson said. “These men and women provide a critical service day in and day out and we are particularly grateful for their commitment to feeding and fueling the nation as we continue to address the challenges associated with COVID-19.”

Rep. Thompson sponsored the Assistance and Gratitude for Coronavirus Heroes in Agribusiness who are Invaluable to the Nation Act, or the AG CHAIN Act, H.R. 6841, with original cosponsors including U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer (R-MN) and Dwight Evans (D-PA). The measure is an extension of the bipartisan Giving Retailers and Our Convenience Employees Relief (GROCER) Act of 2020, H.R. 6567, introduced in April by Reps. Thompson and Evans.

The previously introduced GROCER Act would exclude from gross income, for income tax purposes, compensation and other income up to $25,0000 paid to retail grocery and gasoline service station employees that make less than $75,000 annually. The provisions would take place between Feb. 15 and June 15 for those individuals who are working in a county that has at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, according to the congressional record summary. The bill also would provide discretion to the U.S. Treasury Department to extend the benefit for an additional three months.

The newly introduced H.R. 6841 would extend the tax relief to the nation’s food supply chain workers, according to Rep. Thompson.

“We urge members of Congress to lend their bipartisan support to the bill sponsored by Congressmen Thompson and Evans which would provide targeted financial relief to food industry workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Michael Dykes, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association. “The AG CHAIN Act will ensure that these workers get more than a pat on the back for their invaluable efforts.”

The bill also is supported by the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Grocers Association, the Food Industry Association, the American Bakers Association, the National Restaurant Association, and the National Association of Truck Stop Operators.