New Climate and Tax Bill Seeks to Address Problems of the Black Farmer Relief Program

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The new climate and tax law passed by the Senate will replace the $4 billion program that was drawn to help Black and other “socially disadvantaged” farmers but that never get off the ground, reports the New York Times.

Known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the bill, which passed the Senate this week and is expected to pass the House on Friday, it creates two new funds to assist farmers. One fund would provide financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who faced discrimination. The other fund would provide the Agriculture Department $3.1 billion to make payments for loans or loan modifications to farmers who faced financial distress.

The new program will replace the $4 billion initiative that sought to aid around 15,000 farmers who received loans from the federal government or had bank loans guaranteed by the Agriculture Department. They included Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic farmers who were subjected to racial discrimination or ethnic prejudice.

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