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The New Tax Incentive has Expired BUT...

Advocates Alert: January 15, 2008

The conservation easement incentive passed in the 2006 Pension Protection Act (PPA) expired on December 31st – but the Land Trust Alliance is very hopeful that the incentive will be made permanent in the Farm Bill in the coming months.

The Farm Bill the Senate passed in December includes a permanent extension of the new tax incentive for conservation easement donations and bargain sales, which expired on January 1st.  The House Farm Bill doesn’t have a similar provision.  A House-Senate conference to work out a final Farm Bill could start in late January, but the House and Senate bills are big (1,500 pages), complex, and very different – so a final agreement will probably take weeks to finalize.

What you can do:  Every bit of extra support for making the conservation easement incentive permanent in the House will help, and there are two easy ways for House members to show that support.

  1. Has your Congressman cosponsored HR 1576, the stand-alone bill to make the easement incentive permanent? If they haven’t cosponsored the bill, please ask them to!  Tell them that this issue is going to be decided in the Farm Bill, and tell them you’d greatly appreciate their help now!
  2. If they HAVE cosponsored, thank them – and ask them to please write House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (if they are Democrats) or Ranking Member Jim McCrery (if they are Republicans) to ask them to help ensure that the extension of the incentive for conservation easement donations in section 12203 of the Senate’s Farm Bill – which is identical to HR 1576 – is included in the final Farm Bill.

There is a good deal of talk of a Presidential veto of the farm bill.  But Senator McConnell, the minority leader, believes there will be a new farm bill, as do other Republican Senators we talk to.

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November 6: With only eight weeks remaining before Congress adjourns (of which Congress will be in Washington for only four), there is limited time to act. Ask your senators to urge their party’s leadership to include the charitable package in any year-end tax legislation. We’ve been meeting with Senate offices and have been encouraged by their willingness to consider making some tax extenders permanent. This puts us in a good position, but we need you to reinforce that special places are being lost because the incentive has expired. Learn more »

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