Posted By Chris Bober on January 17, 2011
H.R. 4853 was passed December 17th by congress, which extends enhanced easement incentives for landowners who donate part or all of the value of a conservation easement for conservation purposes. The tax incentive was extended and is retroactive to January 2010 and good through the end of 2011.
- Raises the income tax deduction a landowner can take from 30% of their adjusted gross income to 50%
- Allows farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their adjusted gross income if 50% or more of that income comes from farming, ranching, or forestry.
- Increases the time span over which a donor can take deductions from 6 to 16 years.
I feel a meaningful conversation should be shared by my group of professionals and to those of yours who farm, ranch, hunt, and fish, amidst our most precious resource we have, our land. Conserving land can now be equally rewarding from a conservation standpoint, as well as from a financial vantage point. Conserving the land around us is not just for those who have millions of dollars to buy and conserve land to reap tax benefits, but it is for those who work endlessly on their family owned farms and ranches to keep the land safe from development, thanks to recent legislation. Small farm owners now have the opportunity to remain on their land AND preserve it for the future.
A major shift has taken place in Congress, a realization that conservation should be rewarded. For this, we should thank the Land Trust Alliance for all of their hard work in this fight and providing a voice for conservation and land owners. We should also commend those in the Congress who voted for this extension and listened to conservational organizations and agricultural communities around the nation who voiced their concerns about conservation efforts, demanded equality among tax incentives, and developed the idea that permanent conservation efforts need to be rewarded to those who work day in and day out, on the land, with the land, and for the land.
Please pass this information along, support the land trust alliance, and give thanks to those who voted for this change. Our efforts today will make experiencing the outdoors tomorrow and forever, sustainable.