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Right to Conserve Under Attack March 09, 2005 2:47 PM

Please sign the petition at The stated goal: Reducing loopholes and tax fraud. The proposed solution: Reducing deductibility for non-cash donations - making only 1/3 of the value deductible The Problem: Such changes in tax law will make it IMPOSSIBLE for many people to make conservation easement donations to land conservation organizations. These folks want to preserve their community by making sure there will always be open space, but cannot afford to do so without the deductibility. Unless these folks can conserve their land, it is possible their heirs will not be able to afford the estate taxes, and will be FORCED to sell the land off for development. Resulting in more sprawl, more habitat and open space loss, reducing the beautiful vistas that make our community special The solution: People need to get involved, call their congressmen and senators, contact (call 696 5545) and/or financially support the effort. More info can be found at or (for media use) Details: Joint Committee Proposes Slashing Conservation Incentives FACT SHEET A recent report by Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation recommends dismantling tax deductions for landowners who volunteer to conserve their land—a program that has been essential to private and public conservation efforts. Those tax incentives, in place for more than 25 years, have led to voluntary conservation of more than 34 million acres of working agricultural lands, working forests, wildlife habitats, historic landscapes, and parklands. Currently, landowners who care about conservation and are willing to protect important resources on their property have several options: ∑ They can donate a conservation easement, which protects these resources forever, but allows families to continue to live on and farm the land, and pass the property on to their heirs. Now, they receive a tax deduction for the value of the development rights they give up. The Joint Committee proposes: (1) forbidding any deduction for donating an easement if the landowner continues to live on the land; and (2) in all other cases, allowing the donor to deduct only 1/3 the value of their donation. This would effectively eliminate the tax incentives for donations of conservation easements. ∑ They can also choose to donate their land, or sell it for less than its value. Landowners who do so qualify for a tax deduction. The Joint Committee would slash this incentive, by limiting deductions to the price the landowner originally paid for the property (their "basis"). This would make it extremely difficult for farmers, ranchers, and other residents who have owned their lands for decades to be able to afford to donate. At a time when development and sprawl threaten much of what makes our communities livable—clean air and water, open space, parks, and wildlife habitat—private landowners have a critical role to play in conservation. With state and federal budget deficits limiting government purchase of conservation land, one of the best ways to conserve America’s natural legacy is through incentives to private landowners. This approach is working because it encourages voluntary charitable gifts, respects private property rights, and keeps land on the tax rolls. Conservationists support reforms targeted to prevent abuse of the existing laws. The proposals of the Joint Tax Committee don’t do that – instead, they punish all donors, fail to identify abusers, and wreak havoc with private, voluntary conservation, at a time when it is needed more than ever. Thanks for your time. Please email or call with any questions or comments. SF -- Marketing Strategy, Production & Fundraising Consultants Web, Photo, Video & Interactive Design Workshop Presenter at the 2004 PA Land Trust Alliance Conference Steve Franco Director Projects with a Purpose LLC 570 237 0124 "doing good work for those that do good" advertising/communications/marketing/management Sponsors of: Providing hosting/marketing/management services to:,,,,,,,, Anti Spam Note: There may be multiple recipients in this email - it is NOT SPAM. This email was hand written and addressed by a member of Projects with a Purpose LLC's team for use by the recipient. Please email or call 570 237 0124 if you have any questions. Confidentiality Note: The contents, intellectual and proprietary information included in this communication is legally privileged and confidential. The information, documents, ideas, images, data or technology is proprietary information and trade secrets belonging to Projects with a Purpose, LLC. This communication is for the sole use of the individual listed as addressee (To:) on this document. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, dissemination, copying, distribution, or profit from the taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this email without expressed written consent is strictly prohibited. In this regard, if you have received this in error, please notify us by telephone or email.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Steve F. March 10, 2005 8:57 AM

You said "The contents, intellectual and proprietary information included in this communication is legally privileged and confidential." I suggest that you'd make a more compelling case if you dropped all the legal mumbo-jumbo and commercial trappings - and just discuss the subject. This is a place to discuss hybrid vehicles.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Sorry March 10, 2005 11:27 AM

The stuff at the bottom was unintentional - I pasted from an email. Feel free to share the info - I just don't know how to edit the original post.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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