From the ICBSD Chairman
Brian Gilbert, Senior Vice President, First National Bank in Sioux Falls
It is an exciting time to be part of South Dakota community banking! Looking back at the past year and a half, I am reminded “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” COVID-19 changed all aspects of our lives and the ways in which we conduct business. Yet, despite these changes community banks have remained focused on their number one priority – their communities. When the ground was shifting below our customers, our foundations remained deeply rooted in our commitment to helping those around us succeed. as a community banker myself, I recognize the success of independent community banks is vital for the growth of South Dakota families, farmers and ranchers and businesses now and for future generations to come. I am humbled and proud to have the opportunity to serve on the ICBSD board, and work alongside you all!
I grew up on a farm outside of Hitchcock where I still play an active role within the operation. As a kid, witnessing the synergetic relationship between our farm family and our local community bank sparked an interest that has turned into a fulfilling, twenty year career in community banking. Most recently, I have spent the last fourteen years with First National Bank in Sioux Falls.
It is an honor to serve as the 2021-2022 chairman of the board, and I look forward to working with you all in the upcoming year! I would also like to express my gratitude for Roger Weber, immediate past chairman of the board, for his commitment to community banking and service within the ICBSD.
Advocating and promoting an environment where South Dakota’s community banks can thrive is at the forefront of everything we do at the ICBSD. It is our job to monitor policy changes and understand how they will impact South Dakota community banks, customers and the communities we serve. While there are many ‘hot topics’ within policy changes, here are three we are keeping a close watch on:
- IRS Mandated Reporting – As you already know, a proposal from the Biden administration has advanced that would require community banks and other financial institutions to report transactions of all business and personal accounts worth more than $600.00 to the Internal Revenue Service. Account holder consent is not required. This is problematic for both consumers and community banks. Not only is this an unprecedented invasion of privacy, this proposal will push consumers away from relationship banking. It will also create a backlog of reporting responsibilities on already strained bank staff, and overload the IRS with sensitive, personally identifiable information making it a desirable target for data hackers.
- Stepped-up Basis – Another recent proposal from the Biden administration includes the possibility of eliminating the stepped-up basis. The stepped-up basis allows families to leave certain assets to their heirs and allows them to pay capital gains taxes only on the property’s increase in value since it was inherited. If this proposal is signed into law, its impact would be detrimental to rural Americans including South Dakota’s farm families, ranchers and business owners. The goal of many farm and ranch families is to keep the land in the family in hopes that it will continue to prosper enough that future family members have the opportunity to partake. Eliminating stepped-up basis would result in a massive tax burden on families which may prevent them from continuing the tradition and legacy of their family business.
- ECORA (Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America Act) – ECORA is intended to lower the cost for farmers and ranchers to acquire credit in rural America. It would create equity in agricultural real estate and lower costs for farmers to acquire credit. With Ag commodities being very volatile and profitability being very cyclical, the cost of land and inputs on the rise, ECORA would help level the playing field for South Dakota farmers and ranchers do more with less narrower profit margins.
As community bankers, we must all speak out on behalf of our industry and help our lawmakers understand the effects of these proposals (good, bad or otherwise) have on our institutions and the customers we serve. I strongly believe that with a positive approach and an open mind we can have a positive influence on the outcome of these proposals. To find contact information for local and national legislators, visit ICBSD.com/contact-your-legislator.