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National Trust Endorses Extension of Conservation Easement Provisions in House
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - National Trust for Historic Preservation, Conservation Easement Incentive Act, historic sites
Contributed By: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy
Email The Author: pr@nthp.org
Website: http://www.nthp.org

The National Trust signed an endorsement letter dated March 4th to the entire House that seeks co-sponsors for a bill -- The “Conservation Easement Incentive Act” – a bill to be introduced by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Eric Cantor (R-VA) to make permanent the special rule for the contribution of enhanced qualified conservation easements. Preservationists have long supported conservation easements because they inhibit sprawl development that threatens historic sites and community character.

The easement provision passed as part of “The Pensions Protection Act of 2006”, which allowed taxpayers to take a deduction for a conservation easement on donated land at the rate of 50% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) per year. In addition, landowners with 50% or more of their income from agriculture are allowed to deduct the donation at a rate of 100% of their AGI. In addition, any amount of the donation remaining after the first year can be carried forward for fifteen additional years (allowing a maximum of sixteen years within which the deduction may be utilized), or until the amount of the deduction has been used up, whichever comes first. With the passage of the Farm Bill in the summer of 2008, these expanded federal income tax incentives were extended such that they also apply to all conservation easements donated in 2008 and 2009.

However, landowners considering a perpetual commitment and conservation easement for their land may be deterred by the lack of reassurance provided by a permanent incentive. The Thompson-Cantor bill, which is expected to be shortly and include 76 cosponsors, should address this concern.

Reprinted by permission of the Public Policy Department of the National Trust


Keywords: National Trust for Historic Preservation, Conservation Easement Incentive Act, historic sites

Posted: March 30, 2009
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