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Other Incentive Proposals

The enhanced easement incentive and estate tax incentives for conservation are our top priorities, but we’re exploring other innovative tax incentives that could greatly increase the pace of land conservation.  If you’re working on a tax proposal that you think should be next on our agenda, please let us know – we’d be more than willing to post information here and will consider your idea part of our policy review process.  A longer list of potential tax incentives on our radar screen was included in our Transition Recommendations to President Obama.

State and Local Tax Incentives for Conservation

At least 16 states already have tax credits or other state incentives for conservation. Each state’s program is unique and we’ve posted some basic information on each in hopes of inspiring others to replicate their success. Read more.

Community Forestry Conservation Bonds

The Land Trust Alliance supports the Community Forestry Conservation Act (H.R. 1982/S. 1105) a bill that would allow land trusts to use funds derived from municipal revenue bond sales to purchase working forests at risk of development and keep them in production.  The bonds would be paid off with proceeds from environmentally sensitive timber harvests. Read more.

S Corporation Donation Incentive

Historically, charitable deductions by S corporation shareholders have been limited to their “basis” in company stock – a limitation that has killed many important conservation deals.  A little-noticed provision of the 2008 “bailout” package lifted this restriction, allowing most S corporation shareholders to deduct their share of the full fair market value of a contribution made by the company without regard to their “basis.”  This provision expired on December 31, 2013.

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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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Congress wrestles with tax breaks for open space

July 29, 2014 | Poughkeepsie Journal | NY

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House passes Gerlach conservation tax break bill, now up to Senate

July 18, 2014 | The Mercury News | Pottstown, PA

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The Time is Now for Congress to Act on Conservation

July 15, 2014 | Politico | Washington, D.C.

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