Washington, D.C. (July 19, 2023)—Following today’s Senate introduction of bipartisan legislation to support farmers, ranchers, and rural homeowners, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) released new polling conducted by Morning Consult showing broad support for the legislation.
The Access to Credit for our Rural Economy (ACRE) Act — introduced in the Senate by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Angus King (I-Maine) following the House introduction earlier this year by Reps. Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa) and Wiley Nickel (D-N.C.) — would exempt from taxation interest income on farm real estate and rural mortgage loans, allowing community banks to lower loan rates and more efficiently serve these borrowers.
New ICBA polling conducted by Morning Consult shows strong bipartisan support for the legislation:
70% of U.S. voters said providing tax relief to lending institutions in rural communities would help preserve family farms if these benefits are passed along to borrowers.
59% of voters said providing tax relief to local lending institutions to promote lower interest rates on loans for borrowers in rural communities would have a positive impact on these communities.
“ICBA strongly supports the ACRE Act to help community banks offer lower rates to rural borrowers and homeowners — and our polling shows that bipartisan majorities of U.S. voters agree," ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “With community banks making 80% of banking industry agricultural loans, this important legislation will help revive and sustain rural economies struggling to overcome the impact of higher interest rates while providing community bank lenders with benefits they can pass on to customers, like other rural credit providers. ICBA and the nation’s community banks thank Sens. Moran and King for supporting a common-sense solution that benefits rural Americans, especially young, beginning, and small farmers and ranchers.”
The ACRE Act would also provide relief for loans secured by agricultural and aquaculture real estate or by rural single-family homes that are the borrower's principal residence and below the value of $750,000 in towns with populations under 2,500. ICBA looks forward to advocating for the ACRE Act’s passage on behalf of rural community bankers and the customers and communities they serve.
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.
With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute roughly 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding nearly $5.9 trillion in assets, over $4.9 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.5 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.