WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Angus King (I-Maine) today introduced the Access to Credit for our Rural Economy (ACRE) Act of 2023. This legislation would benefit American families, farmers and rural communities nationwide by giving greater flexibility to more financial institutions to offer affordable lines of credit to rural and agricultural borrowers.
“High inflation and rising interest rates are putting a strain on farmers and rural homeowners in Kansas and across the country,” said Sen. Moran. “Main street lenders must have the flexibility required to provide rural Americans with access to the capital needed to achieve homeownership and continue operating family farms. This legislation will help to boost rural housing and support the agricultural economy that plays a vital role in small towns across America.”
“Rural communities across America are facing a serious affordable housing crisis. It has simply gotten way too hard to find reasonably priced homes in our small towns,” said Sen. King. “The ACRE Act is a commonsense way to make home and farm ownership possible for more families by providing better access to low interest loans. There’s no one easy solution to our housing affordability problems, but this bipartisan effort would be an important step forward. I appreciate Senator Moran’s partnership and hope we can get this bill passed for rural communities like those in Maine and Kansas.”
Items to Note:
- Specifically, the ACRE Act would grant community banks the same tax exempt status on certain earned interest that applies to farm credit institutions, allowing farm real estate borrowers and rural home owners access to lower interest rates.
- This exemption would also apply to single-family home mortgage loans in rural communities with fewer than 2,500 residents and for mortgages less than $750,000.
- According to the American Bankers Association, this legislation would expand access to affordable agricultural and home loans to over 4,000 rural communities nationwide and save family farmers and producers well over $400 million in annual interest expenses.
“Rising interest rates and skyrocketing energy and crop input costs are squeezing profits for farmers and ranchers across America,” said Doug Wareham, President & CEO, Kansas Bankers Association. “Small towns are also facing a housing shortage crisis that threatens the fabric and future of rural communities struggling to grow and prosper. We applaud U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Angus King for introducing the ACRE Act, which will reduce the cost of borrowing for agricultural land and home purchases in rural communities across America.”
“ABA and our members applaud Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Angus King (I-Maine) on the introduction of the Access to Credit for our Rural Economy Act of 2023 in the Senate,” said Rob Nichols, President and CEO, American Bankers Association. “Inflation and supply-chain disruptions are driving up the cost of running America’s farms and ranches. At the same time, rising interest rates are squeezing profitability for farmers and putting homeownership out of reach for many rural Americans. ACRE offers a simple and targeted solution that will deliver much-needed relief to farmers, ranchers and rural homeowners in more than 17,000 communities throughout the country without creating new government payments or programs. We urge all members of Congress to support this critically important legislation.”
“ICBA strongly supports the ACRE Act to help community banks offer lower rates to farmers and ranchers as well as homeowners in towns with populations under 2,500,” said Rebeca Romero Rainey, President and CEO, Independent Community Bankers of America. “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, similar to 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.”
Full text of this legislation can be found HERE.
Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa) and Wiley Nickel (D-N.C.).