Cranberry Growers Look for Tax Credits to Renovate Bogs

BARNSTABLE – Growers of the state’s largest cash crop, the cranberry, are asking legislators for help to make local bogs more productive.

Massachusetts bogs are falling behind in production to other growing areas in North America, and growers are looking for tax cuts to help renovate their bogs.

Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association Executive Director Brian Wick says many cranberry bogs in the state are over 100 years old and don’t produce the newer varieties of cranberries the industry is demanding.

“They are losing their vigor,” Wick said. They are not producing as well and the growers are starting to fall behind some of the other growing regions such as Quebec and Wisconsin, [which] have these newer, high-yielding varieties of cranberry bogs.”

The idea for a tax credit for cranberry growers was a result of discussions by a task force made up of legislators and industry officials.

“These new varieties are what the industry is looking for, what the manufacturers are looking for,” Wick said. “As a result, some of the growers are falling behind here and the cost to do a replanting or renovation of a current bog is extremely expensive. So having the state assist in that would be a great benefit.”

The tax benefit would help growers be in a better position to receive loans to make renovations knowing the credit would offset some of the costs from the loans.

Wick said getting tax credits for growers is a challenge due to the states financial situation and lack of revenues.

“The legislature is being responsible with their finances and is taking a hard look at any additional spending,” Wick said. “The benefit is that we are not looking for a lot of money here.”

Wick said when growers renovate bogs it can be a boost for the local economy by providing more business for companies which supply the growers, along with creating jobs.

The renovations could also provide environmental benefits are new varieties of the fruit use less water.

“It can really be a stimulus package for jobs for Southeastern Massachusetts by having more growers able to renovate,” Wick said.


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