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Farm Bill Negotiators Consider Pared Down Easement Incentive

Advocates Alert: April 14, 2008

Farm Bill negotiations are in a frenzy, and the conservation easement incentive needs your help now.  In the face of continued resistance by the House leadership to any tax cuts being included in the Farm Bill, the Senate has offered to cut the easement incentive provision back from a permanent extension to a two-year extension. Even a short-term extension is in severe jeopardy.

The Congress is trying to extend its deadline for a final farm bill to April 25, and talked about needing another two weeks after that.  The White House has threatened to veto the extension, increasing the pressure on negotiators, and raising the possibility that the entire Farm Bill – including major funding increases and program fixes for Farm and Ranch Protection Program and Grasslands Reserve – could be put aside for a year or more.

If you have gotten your US Representative to speak to their leaders about the need to renew this key land conservation tool, thank you!

If you are halfway there, please keep pressing!

For more details on who to call, what to say and a fact sheet you can forward, please read last week’s Advocates alert.

The Alliance and our coalition will continue to press for an extension of the tax incentive in the Farm Bill, as this is still the best chance we have to get the incentive renewed this year. Please do all you can to help. We will try to keep you updated.

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Advocates Alerts

July 17: The House just voted 277-130 to pass the charities package! 56 Democrats joined their Republican colleagues to support charitable giving incentives, including the enhanced easement incentive - the second-highest number of defections after the research and development tax credit. Several others spoke on the floor in support of the conservation easement incentive, and other favorable charitable incentives. Thank you to organizations like Ducks Unlimited, CSF and others that reached out to Congressional offices over the last few days or alerted their membership of this important vote. Now, we pivot to the Senate.
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