The new year brings less of a tax burden for farmers and ranchers when it comes to health insurance, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. 

In spending bills passed by Congress before the holiday break, lawmakers included a permanent repeal of the Health Insurance Tax, which was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act. 

AFBF says the tax has increased health insurance costs for farmers, ranchers and other small businesses by imposing a levy on the net premiums of health insurance companies, which is then passed on to consumers. 

The spending bill also retroactively reinstates and extends tax incentives for biodiesel and renewable biodiesel through December 31st, 2022, and tax credits for second-generation biofuels through 2020. 

In addition, the measure retroactively restores and extends through December 31st, 2022, the 50 percent tax credit for short line railroad maintenance. 

Short line railroads are first- and last-mile carriers that connect small towns, farms and factories to the national rail network, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth in thousands of local communities.