Sour Grapes: Blueberries Could Lose Out on Bonus Depreciation
June 5 — Blueberries don't grow on trees—and that could make all the difference for growers trying to reap a popular tax benefit.
Bonus depreciation—the part of the U.S. tax code that allows businesses to write off up to half the cost of an investment in a single year—would be expanded to fruit and nut trees, as well as vine crops, under legislation the House Ways and Means Committee approved in May.
The committee's legislative language didn't mention bushes, however, and that is no small matter for blueberries, a top crop in Michigan, the home state of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R). The state produces as much as a third of the U.S. harvest annually, leading all other states, the Department of Agriculture said.
Bush crops such as blueberries wouldn't be eligible for the benefit and growers would have to recover planting costs over several years. An aide to a senior member of the committee told Bloomberg BNA the omission was an oversight that can be corrected as the legislation moves along.