Tax incentivs for conservation easements

REPOST from Cascade Harvest Coalition

The 2008 Farm Bill extended a 2006 incentive that enables family farmers, ranchers and other moderate-income landowners a significant tax benefit for donating a conservation easement on their lands. Unless Congress acts, the incentive will expire at the end of 2009. A national survey shows this incentive increased the rate of easement donation by 36% with an additional 535,000 acres donated in 2006 and 2007.

This incentive can also be combined for “bargain sales” of easements purchased by local, state and federal programs like Washington’s RCO farmland protection program and the many county farmland preservation programs throughout our region.
How the Tax Incentive Works –

Raises the maximum deduction a donor may take from 30% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) in any year, to 50%;

Allows qualified farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their AGI;

Increases the number of years that one can take a deduction from 6 years to 16 years.

Washington State is trying to increase the permanent protection of its valuable natural resource lands, and this incentive is an opportunity to increase the donation of conservation easements.

Contact your Senators and Congressmen and ask them to become cosponsors of legislation to make the easement incentive permanent:

Co-sponsor HR 1831 introduced by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Eric Cantor (R-VA). Contact Travis Robey (Thompson, (202) 225-3311 or Wyatt Stewart (Cantor, (202) 225-2815).

Co-sponsor S 812, introduced by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA). Contact Jo-Ellen Darcy at the Senate Finance Committee (202) 2242-3247.


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