Taxes: Deductible Water

The Texas farm where Farmer Marvin Shurbet raises wheat and cotton is part of the 22-million-acre Southern High Plains region, where 30 years ago the onslaught of irrigation began taking more water out of the ground than rains could replace. The High Plains' water table has receded ever since.

And that novel situation gave Shurbet a novel idea. Why not treat his water as a natural resource and claim a tax-depletion allowance, just as if he were producing oil? Shurbet was not selling the water the way an oilman sells oil; still, it was a necessary part of his business....

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