Conservation easements are threatened by federal tax code recommendations. Please take action to protect the work of the Washtenaw Land Trust and others that utilize this vital land protection tool.
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On January 27, 2005 the Joint Committee on Taxation of the Congress recommended a drastic cut on tax benefits for donations of land, conservation easements, and bargain sales. While some reforms are reasonable, what has been proposed by the Joint Committee on Taxation are not reasonable and if adopted as written, would injure national land conservation policy.
National Conservation Policy—Impact
Several of these proposals would virtually eliminate incentives for landowners who voluntarily conserve their lands. These proposals would stop the work of land trusts and severely hamper state and local conservation efforts.
Proposal and Consequences
The Joint Tax Committee proposed:
□ Not allowing any deductions for donating a conservation easement on the property on which a landowner lives, which would eliminate most conservation easements.
□ Slashing the deductions allowed for donating a conservation easement, from 100% of what the easement is worth, to no more than 33% of its value.
□ Limiting deductions for donating land to the landowner’s basis in the land, which punishes long-term landowners, and gravely hurts conservation.
What it means
The loss of farmland and open space is accelerating. Local projects and programs would be directly affected by this tax revision.
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Celebrating MEC's 25th Anniversary in 2005