Economics

House Bill Introduced to Incentivize Land Conservation Easements

BY Public Lands Coucil | | Comments (0)

This month, three bills were introduced in the House of Representatives to provide tax incentives for conservation easements on private lands. H.R. 2714, introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) would make federal tax credits for conservation easement donations transferable. H.R. 2713, also introduced by Rep. Meadows, would eliminate capital gains taxes on conservation easements. Finally, Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-Penn.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) have introduced H.R. 2807, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act of 2013. This bill would increase the percentage of adjusted gross income landowners who preserve their properties can deduct each year and allow them to make that deduction longer. Under current tax law, which expires at the end of 2013, landowners who sell or donate conservation easements that give up the development rights to their properties can claim a deduction of 30 percent of their adjusted gross income for a maximum of six years. H.R. 2807 would increase to 50 percent the income tax deduction, which could be claimed for a period of 16 years. The bill is very similar to S. 526, introduced in the Senate Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). It is also supported by the Obama Administration.

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