Farm Payments:

Analysis of Proposals To Amend the $50,000 Payment Limit

RCED-88-42BR: Published: Oct 9, 1987. Publicly Released: Oct 9, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO: (1) analyzed two proposals to amend the current $50,000-per-person payment limitation provisions of the Food Security Act; and (2) compared these proposals with existing legislation and regulations to determine if they would prevent certain types of farm reorganizations.

GAO found that the proposed legislation: (1) targets those reorganizations which, in effect, circumvent the payment limitation by adding new persons to farming operations and allowing each to qualify for up to $50,000; and (2) would prevent the type of program abuses previously reported. GAO also found that the alternative proposal would: (1) close some loopholes in existing laws and regulations but would prevent the Department of Agriculture from administratively closing others; and (2) double the existing payment limits. GAO noted that Congress is rewriting the alternative proposal, which could significantly alter the results of its analysis.

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