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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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Advocates Alerts

February 12: The House successfully voted 279-137, demonstrating a supermajority (67%) of support, on H.R. 644, a package of charitable incentives including the conservation tax incentive.Now we need your help in the Senate to secure co-sponsors! Sens. Heller and Stabenow have requested land trusts’ assistance in asking senators to cosponsor S. 330, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act. Learn more »

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