Hagel hopes bill helps stop outmigration

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Washington - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel today announced that he will introduce legislation to increase competition in the rural agriculture loan market.

Hagel's bill will put rural community banks on an equal footing with the Farm Credit System, while improving loan options for Nebraska farmers.

"This legislation would not only help rural banks compete, but will help our rural communities survive. My bill takes appropriate steps to level the playing field for rural banks by removing disadvantages they face when competing with the government sponsored Farm Credit System for agriculture loans," Hagel said.

Under this proposal, tax incentives would be used to encourage banks to make agricultural real estate loans in rural areas of 2,500 people or less.

This proposal compliments Senators Hagel and Dorgan's (D-ND) New Homestead Act which aims to reverse the trend of out-migration in rural America.

"Over the years, rural communities have been hit hard by people leaving for urban areas.

"To stop this cycle we must first provide fair competition and more opportunities for businesses and individuals in rural communities.

"This legislation and the New Homestead Act would help accomplish that," Hagel concluded.

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