Stop Taxpayer Funding of Industrial Animal Agriculture


States offer tax exemptions and abatements for a wide range of agricultural activities. These include exemptions for costs specifically associated with CAFOs, such as manure storage, giving CAFOs a tax advantage over pasture-based livestock operations. Tax exemptions reduce revenue to the state and county, while CAFOs themselves put extra strain on local resources, with additional wear on country roads, water use, and potential need for pollution remediation. Iowa has reported a loss of $4.5 million in county revenue due to CAFO property tax exemptions.[1] State policymakers should consider sunsetting tax exemptions that disproportionately benefit CAFOs and implement exemptions that incentivize pasture-based livestock operations.

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State Policy Priorities

  • Direct public dollars such as tax exemptions and EQIP funds away from CAFOs and toward pasture-based operations.
  • Stop subsidizing manure-to-energy projects.

State Examples

  • Iowa lawmakers considered a bill (2019 IA HF 186) to remove CAFO manure pits from a property tax exemption.
  • In Missouri, as a result of participation by pasture-based producers and advocates, the NRCS state technical committee implemented a rule that no new or expanding CAFOs in Missouri are eligible for EQIP dollars,[5] which has reduced EQIP funds going to livestock waste management from 35 percent to 15 percent in recent years.[6]
  • New York (2019 NY S 6599) recently passed a bill that would prohibit waste-to-energy projects to be included in its future renewable energy platform.
  • In 2021, Oregon allowed the expiration of a tax credit for manure, which was intended to promote manure-to-energy projects.[7]

[5] Chrisman, Siena. “What Happens to Animal Waste.” FoodPrint. 08 Oct. 2018. Footnote 32.

[6] Gewin, Virginia. “Why Aren’t USDA Conservation Programs Paying Farmers More to Improve Their Soil?” Civil Eats. Jan. 12, 2021. 2021,

[7] Hauser, Daniel. “SB 151: Let the Bovine Manure Tax Credit Sunset.” Oregon Center for Public Policy, 22 Feb. 2021,


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