A new Texas state law will allow farmers to charge consumers for pest control services
A new law in Texas allows farmers to use the money they receive from their customers for pest prevention services, and that could mean the end of the “gut-pest tax” that farmers have been charging for decades.
The new law, passed in the state House of Representatives, also allows a consumer to opt out of paying the “bounty” for pest-control services, which has been a longstanding and unpopular tactic for many farmers.
The Texas Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Tourism said the bill would allow farmers the ability to “make a substantial contribution to the cost of pest control” and also “set up a mechanism to allow the private sector to provide pest control service.”
“We think that this is a good step forward to ensure that Texas farmers are providing quality pest control that is affordable to our farmers,” RDOT spokesperson Ryan Ketchum told the Associated Press.
The move to end the “pest-control tax” was prompted by a new bill being introduced in Texas that aims to boost local agriculture and make the state a national model for pest management.
The bill, House Bill 1188, is named after the Texas state motto, the phrase “In God We Trust.”
The state legislature has also introduced a similar bill that would eliminate the tax.
The AP reported that the new law also eliminates a separate statewide “pesticide tax” of $150 per year that farmers had been paying in lieu of fees.
A new bill is being considered by the state legislature to repeal the pesticide tax.AP writers Mike Hernandez, Lauren Ritchie and Matt Dominguez contributed to this report.