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Letter Deadline Wednesday, Estate Tax Package, TNC Poll

Advocates Alert: November 12, 2009

The House Ways & Means Committee may consider an estate tax package as early as next week.  As one of the few tax bills moving this year, that package will be a critical opportunity to improve tax incentives for conservation.

Wednesday Deadline for Easement Incentive Letter, 36 Signers So Far

We're hopeful a strong list of signers on the new easement incentive letter will help persuade House leaders to include H.R. 1831 as part of the estate tax package.  To complete it in time, the co-chairs of the Land Conservation Caucus have announced a Wednesday, November 18th deadline for signatures. (NOTE: The email version of this alert announced a Tuesday deadline, but it was extended.)

Please check the signers list to see if your Representative is among the 36 current signers. If not, please call the Capitol Switchboard today at 202-224-3121, ask for your Rep. and urge his or her staff to sign-on by contacting Jesse Young in the office of Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT).  You can follow up with a copy of the letter by email.

Key Moment to Expand Estate Tax Incentives for Conservation

As you heard from Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) at the Rally 2009 welcoming dinner, our champions in Congress are also working on bills to prevent the estate tax itself from causing the break-up, sale and development of important farm, ranch and forest lands.

The Land Trust Alliance is asking House Ways & Means Committee members to support including H.R. 1831, H.R. 3050 and H.R. 3524 in their estate tax package and we're seeking Senate sponsors for these provisions. Please see our newly-updated estate tax page for more details on these bills.

New TNC Poll Shows Strong Support for Conservation

In September 2009, The Nature Conservancy conducted a series of focus groups followed by a national poll to test American voters' support for new conservation funding. The survey showed that although voters are deeply concerned about the economy, they also remain highly committed to conservation, and solid majorities would be willing to pay as much as $100 more in annual taxes to support conservation.

The poll also tested conservation messaging and found that the same tried-and-true messages about protecting clean water and natural areas for future generations still resonate and are seen as more credible and persuasive than economic arguments about green jobs and tourism.  We hope you'll take a moment to peruse these findings as presented in a polling memo and PowerPoint presentation.

Sorry for the short notice, but you may want to consider joining a Webinar about these findings at 1:00pm Eastern Today:

Topic:          National Poll on Conservation Funding, WebEx for Partners
Host:            Ingrid Nyborg, The Nature Conservancy
Date:            Thursday, November 12, 2009 
Time:           1:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time 
Session #:  826 189 912
Password:  Choices2

  1. Go to https://nethope.webex.com/nethope/k2/j.php?ED=129394192&UID=1060164672&RT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D
  2. Enter your name and email address.
  3. Enter the session password: Choices2
  4. Click "Join Now".
  5. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.

For assistance, please contact Ingrid Nyborg at: inyborg@tnc.org or (703) 841-5336.
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June 12: In Historic First, Conservation Tax Incentive Approved by Committee

We are one step closer to making the incentive permanent, but we now need to convince House leadership that this is a priority for their members and should be brought to the floor for a vote ASAP. Please consider signing your land trust onto this letter by Independent Sector asking all members of the House to vote for the conservation tax incentive and two other charitable provisions.
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