Senator Stevens Spends Session Focused on Agriculture

Senator Stevens Spends Session Focused on Agriculture

(NASHVILLE)- During this session of the 111th General Assembly, Senator John Stevens promoted legislation to support Tennessee’s agricultural economy, including tax cuts and licensing requirements for seasonal CDL drivers.

Senate Bill 1460, co-sponsored by Senator Stevens, exempts water that is used for agricultural purposes from the sales and use tax. Before the legislation took effect, other utilities such as electricity and natural gas were exempt from sales tax when being used to produce an agriculture-related project. “Under this new law, Tennessee farmers can have access to a reliable source of water without the additional expense of sales tax,” said Senator Stevens. Qualified farmers seeking this exemption would still have to apply to the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

Senator Stevens successfully passed Senate Bill 0713 to eliminate the sales and use tax on agriculture trailers. The trailers must be used to transport livestock, farm products, nursery stock, equipment, or supplies. Senator Stevens recognizes that the passage of Senate Bill 0713 is an important step to supporting the strong role that farmers play in the state’s economy. This legislation not only helps farmers but also supports Tennessee’s retailers and manufacturers.

Senator Stevens signed on as a co-sponsor to Senate Bill 0517 after having a number of conversations with area farmers. This legislation creates a seasonal commercial driver’s license for farm-related employees. “Finding CDL drivers in Tennessee’s rural areas has become increasingly difficult. It’s important to work toward alleviating issues that our farmers are facing,” said Senator Stevens. This new law allows drivers to attain a restricted seasonal CDL for up to 180 days. This restricted CDL will be easier to attain than a normal CDL and is limited to 150 air miles from the agribusiness or farm being served.