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State farming community hopeful about Trump's Ag Secretary pick

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Illinois’ agriculture community is hopeful President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help cut back regulations and lower taxes for farmers.

Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert said he and others in the agriculture community were a little worried. They thought the announcement was going to happen last week.

“I think all of agriculture was wondering if we were ever going to get a secretary appointed,” he said. “It was kind of down to the wire.”

News trickled out late Wednesday that former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue would be Trump’s pick for USDA.

Guebert said he is confident Perdue will help work on issues important to farmers like dealing overly burdensome regulations “and bring some common sense back to regulations, whether it has to do with the Clean Water Act or anything else that regulates Illinois agriculture — from water to air.”

Guebert said farmers want clean water and air so they can pass quality land to the next generation. They also want Perdue to work with lawmakers to repeal the estate tax.

“A death tax, you might say, is to pay taxes on that land again,” he said. “We pay taxes throughout our lifetime, property taxes on that land, and we just feel it’s a double taxation.”

Earlier this week, Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, told the Illinois News Network he’s been appointed to the subcommittee that will begin the process of repealing the federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes.

Perdue will have to be approved by the U.S. Senate.

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