recently released a report that recommends eliminating tax benefits for
Americans who support conservation directly by donating land or providing
easements for conservation. Easements have made it possible for
Americans to protect 34 million acres at much less cost than any other
Our government should be encouraging
land owners to support conservation, not discouraging them! We
need your help to protect these tax benefits that encourage Americans to
conserve their land.
Click here to send a free fax to Senator Charles
Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) urging them to protect our
natural heritage by preserving tax incentives for conservation. Or if you're a registered user, simply hit
"reply" and then hit "send" and we'll automatically
send the message below on your behalf.
Tax benefits like these
have helped hundreds of small land trusts, like the San Isabel Land
Protection Trust (featured to the right), preserve thousands of acres of
privately owned land in Colorado's Custer County.
At a time when Congress is stressing the importance of voluntary land
protection, it is ironic that they are also talking about doing away with
its most important tool. Development and sprawl threaten our clean air and
water, open space, parks, and wildlife habitat. Private landowners
play a critical role in conservation, and this approach is working
because it encourages voluntary charitable gifts, respects private property
rights, and keeps land on the tax rolls.
This new proposal by
Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation would forbid any deductions for
landowners who donate conservation easements for land they live on. In
addition, tax benefits for all other donated land would be slashed from
100% of the land's value to no more than 33%. Their proposal
effectively does away with any incentives for private landowners to donate
Right now state and federal budget deficits make it nearly impossible for
the government to purchase conservation land. One of the best ways to
conserve America's natural legacy is through incentives to private
Click here to send a message to Senator Grassley
and Senator Baucus urging them to protect our natural heritage through
incentives for landowners.
We need your help to spread the word about this dangerous proposal. Once
you've taken action, please forward this email to your friends,
family and co-workers and urge them to take action as well.
Thank you for your help!
Online Campaign Manager
Registered users: Hit "reply" and then hit "send" and
the message below will be automatically sent on your behalf.
to comment on the recent recommendations of the Joint Committee on Taxation
regarding donations by private landowners to help conservation.
The Joint Committee
recommended severe cuts in the income tax deductions for donations of land
and easements for conservation. Generous donations by our private
landowners play an important role in the protection of my district's
natural and historic resources. In an era when we are relying on private
citizens to do more, I feel strongly that we should be encouraging the use
of incentives that enable landowners to voluntarily protect our state's
wildlife, scenic beauty, and historic sites.
I would support efforts
to target potential abuse of these incentives. The Joint Committee's
recommendation to cut back these incentives, however, will not stop the
abuse. Instead, it reduces the incentives for legitimate donations, a
course of action that would cost us dearly in conservation.
land or development rights on land are making extremely valuable gifts to
present and future residents of our state. I urge you to do all you can to
encourage charities working to protect our natural and historic heritage,
and to encourage landowners who voluntarily work with those charities to
secure a better future for our state.
[your name and address]