Thursday, December 17, 2015

Land Trust Alliance Praises Congressional Deal Breaking Conservation Legislation

The Land Trust Alliance Wednesday praised a bipartisan congressional agreement that would make permanent a tax incentive supporting land conservation. “This could be the most important conservation legislation in 20 years,” said Rand Wentworth, the Alliance’s president. “It will result in the conservation of millions of acres of America’s most important natural areas, farms and ranches. This agreement demonstrates that we as a nation treasure our lands and must conserve their many benefits for all future generations.” The incentive grants certain tax benefits to landowners who sign a conservation easement. Such private, voluntary agreements with local land trusts permanently limit uses of the land in order to protect its conservation value. The incentive advanced through Congress as part of the America Gives More Act, a package of tax incentives to encourage charitable giving. It passed the House earlier this year, 279-137. A standalone version of the incentive, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act, had 52 Senate sponsors this year. The agreement announced Wednesday additionally encourages donations to food banks and facilitates charitable deductions from IRAs...more

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