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The Enhanced Easement Incentive

Update:June 12, 2014

Please consider signing your land trust onto this letter by Independent Sector (which represents charities in D.C.) asking all members of the House to vote for the conservation tax incentive and two other charitable provisions recently passed by the committee (the IRA charitable rollover and an enhanced deduction for donations of food inventory to food banks and related charities). The letter asks for representatives to make these three important charitable provisions permanent. The more organizations that sign on, the larger impact we will have.


On May 29, legislation to make permanent the enhanced tax incentive for conservation easement donations – H.R. 2807 – was passed out of the House of Representatives Ways and Means committee. The bill gained its 219th cosponsor, a majority of the members of the House of Representatives.

This is a great step forward for land conservation and for providing a reliable tool to ensure that today’s natural treasures can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Now it is time for Congress to pass H.R. 2807. We are close to a majority of the House as co-sponsors for the measure (218). Please call your members of Congress as soon as possible and ask that they urge House leadership to send this important legislation to the floor for a full vote. With majority support, we can demonstrate to House leadership that H.R. 2807 is a bill that deserves a vote on the floor of the House.

See below for updated talking points, fact sheets and ways to say thank you to representatives who have signed on.

May 15:

Missed the May 14 national call on the conservation tax incentive?

Co-sponsors Needed to Extend Expired Tax Incentive

Our top legislative priority this year is to preserve the enhanced tax incentive for conservation easement donations, which the House Ways & Means Committee voted to send to the floor on May 29, 2014.

Please ask your representative and both senators to co-sponsor legislation in the 113th Congress to make the easement incentive permanent:

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A Critical Conservation Tool with Broad, Bipartisan Support

The enhanced income tax deduction for conservation easement donations has helped America’s land trusts work with farmers, ranchers and other modest-income landowners to increase the pace of conservation by a third to over a million acres a year! Unfortunately, this cost-effective conservation incentive expired at the end of 2013.


Support Bills to Make the Incentive Permanent

You can take action today by calling the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking your Members of Congress to co-sponsor:

  • Representatives can join Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) as co-sponsors of the Conservation Easement Incentive Act, H.R. 2807, by contacting Lori Prater in Congressman Gerlach’s office (5-4315).
  • Senators can join Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) as co-sponsors of the Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act, S. 526, by sending a signed unanimous consent agreement to the Senate floor.

Please be sure to thank previous co-sponsors when asking for their renewed support.

How the Incentive Works

Thanks to the hard work of Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), along with land trusts and coalition partners around the country, on August 3, 2006 the Congress approved a tremendous expansion of the federal tax incentive for conservation easement donations

For more information about the easement incentive, please contact Sean Robertson at 202-800-2229, or e-mail

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Advocates Alerts

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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