Support Legislation Making the Conservation Easement Tax Incentive Permanent
Dear [Decision Maker],
I am asking you to support legislation making the conservation easement tax incentive permanent before the end of this Congress.
First passed in 2006, this incentive encourages donations of conservation easements to protect important agricultural, natural and historic resources on private lands. Before it expired at the beginning of 2014, it helped America's landowners to conserve roughly one million acres of working farms, ranches, forests, and natural habitat every year.
Landowners can choose to retire the development rights on their land by donating a conservation easement keeping agricultural land in productive use, protecting important fish and wildlife habitat, and conserving our scenic and historic heritage across America. Under previous law, landowners with modest incomes received little or no tax benefit from donating what may be their family's most valuable asset. By allowing such donors to deduct a larger portion of their income over a longer period of time, this incentive enables thousands of landowners to afford to choose conservation. If the Congress acts during the Lame Duck session, there is still time to put this incentive back into use this year, which would enable land trusts working with local farmers, ranchers and forest owners to conserve America's most precious resources.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please let me know the outcome of this important issue.
[City, State ZIP]