Johanns’ new role: Helping ag producers navigate tax credits
SCOTTSBLUFF — Mike Johanns has worn many hats.
He was governor of Nebraska, former Secretary of Agriculture, and a U.S. senator.
Johanns has now joined Houston-based tax consultancy firm alliantgroup, as its chairman of agriculture. The firm specializes in the area of government-sponsored credits and incentives, and in his new position, Johanns hopes to play a key role in guiding alliantgroup’s outreach on the various tax credits and incentives available for the benefit of the agricultural industry.
His main focus now is spreading the word to producers and ag innovators that they may be eligible for the Research and Development tax credit.
“The R&D tax credit dates back to the early ‘80s,” Johanns said in a phone interview Wednesday. “It was put in place when Congress expressed concerns that we were losing ground to Japanese automakers.”
Johanns said that the R&D tax credit used to require renewal by congress every year, where there was usually a bipartisan discussion about where the tax credit was needed. After Johanns left the U.S. Senate in 2015, Congress passed legislation improving and making the R&D tax credit permanent.
“Although this has been overlooked substantially in agriculture, the R&D tax credit works for agriculture,” Johanns said. “In some respects, it’s nearly hand in glove in terms of how well it’s designed to cover some of the normal things that happen in the agriculture community.”
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Mike Johanns was the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 2005-2007 as well as the Governor of Nebraska from 1999-2005 and the state’s U.S. Senator from 2009-2015. As alliantgroup’s Chairman of Agriculture, Johanns brings more than 30 years of experience at virtually every level of government and a strong background in both agriculture and economic development. As the Secretary of Agriculture, he managed 18 different agencies, opened or expanded access to 40 international markets and was responsible for multiple agricultural breakthroughs as a negotiator for the Doha Development Round.