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Tax Deal Would Extend Easement Incentive, But Deal Not Yet Done

Advocates Alert: December 8, 2010

On Monday, President Obama and Senate Republicans agreed to a "framework" of a deal on tax issues.  Many House and Senate Democrats are complaining bitterly over the major elements of the deal, but it is very likely to be the core of a final tax bill this year.

The good news: The framework provides an extension of the enhanced easement incentive for tax years 2010 and 2011, retroactive to the beginning of this year.  This same extension will apply to the S Corporation donation incentive and IRA charitable rollover.

The bad news: It appears unlikely that our easement incentive (or anything else) will be made permanent in this package.

The remaining opportunity: One area still lacking detail is the estate tax.  The framework calls for a $5 million unified credit and 35% rate for years 2011 and 2012 (this is a two-year deal only).  But no decision has yet been made on whether to also include the easement exclusion and agricultural/forest land tax deferral that were part of the Senate Democrats' tax bill that was voted on last Saturday.  We are working with key actors to try to get these provisions included in a final bill.

You should know, however, that the framework's provisions on estate tax are perhaps the most controversial part of the proposed deal with many Democrats, and it is still possible they may be dropped from the legislation entirely.

This situation remains extremely fluid, but we will keep you posted every step of the way. For more information, please visit: www.lta.org/easementincentive and www.lta.org/estatetax.

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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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