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One Week to Save the Incentive, Has Your Delegation Cosponsored?

Advocates Alert: December 5, 2011 | UPDATED for eNews 12/14/11


We urgently need your help preventing the enhanced tax incentive for conservation easement donations from expiring at the end of this year. While a retroactive extension is possible, if the incentive expires, it's entirely possible that it will lapse for all of 2012. Over the past month, our coalition partners in Washington have deluged congressional staffers with emails and letters seeking additional co-sponsors for H.R. 1964 and S. 339. Now it’s up to you to seal the deal – it will take a personal phone call to your Representative’s tax staffer to demonstrate that this national issue is relevant in their district, and something they need to deal with this week.

While any Senator or Rep. can help, our top priority is to secure the 16 additional House Republicans we need to have majorities of both parties as co-sponsors of H.R. 1964. Achieving that goal this week will help our champions push through an extension before it's too late. Please check our co-sponsor map for any missing Republicans in your land trust’s service area -- or reach out to supporters and partners who do work in those districts.

Call today: Please call any legislators from your land trust's service area who haven't yet co-sponsored (switchboard: 202-224-3121).  Ask to speak with the staff member who handles tax issues:

  • Introduce your land trust and be sure to mention any of your recent successes.
  • Tell them that allowing the incentive to lapse will hurt conservation, as it did in 2010, when the incentive lapsed on January 1 and was not renewed until December 17. Donating an easement is a lengthy and expensive process for a landowner -- they need to know the law is in place in order to move forward!
  • Ask them to support the incentive by co-sponsoring this week. Representatives can co-sponsor H.R. 1964 by contacting Lori Prater in the Office of Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-PA). Senators can co-sponsor S. 339 by calling Tiffany Smith at the Senate Finance Committee.
  • Ask for the staffer's email address and follow-up with local examples or fact sheets and letters of support from our website.

Please forward this alert to your board members, supporters and other partners with basic information for the missing members of Congress from your area.

The emailed version of this Land Trust Advocates alert included state congressional directories, and unlike most directories you’ll see, these included e-mail addresses for issue staff. We'll gladly send directory information for your state or any other information you need, simply email policy@lta.org.

Thanks for helping at this critical moment!

H.R. 1964 Co-sponsors Added Since Our Last Update (current as of 12/19/11):

  • Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA/24th)
  • Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA/37th)
  • Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA/49th)
  • Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO/6th)
  • Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
  • Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL/2nd)
  • Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA/8th)
  • Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL/10th)
  • Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD/1st)
  • Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC/1st)
  • Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC/2nd)
  • Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ/3rd)
  • Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH/6th)
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH/10th)
  • Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR/2nd)
  • Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA/3rd)
  • Rep. Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR)
  • Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC/4th)
  • Rep. Diane Black (R-TN/6th)*
  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN/7th)
  • Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN/8th)
  • Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX/10th)
  • Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX/22nd)
  • Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX/24th)*
  • And Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) has co-sponsored S. 339

See the full list and map at: www.lta.org/easementincentive/cosponsors.

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July 10: House Vote on Conservation Tax Incentive Coming Soon

The House of Representatives will vote on the Conservation Easement Incentive Act, perhaps as early as next week. Whether you use this incentive or not, this is an unprecedented opportunity for the entire House of Representatives to vote specifically on whether or not to help land trusts. Every vote will count, and we urge you to call your congressional office and ask your representative to support H.R. 2807 when it comes to the floor – and to get as many others as possible in your land trust and its local partners to do the same.
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