Land Conservancy applauds renewal of enhanced easement incentive

Congress has renewed the enhanced income tax deduction for conservation easements through 2013, and retroactive to the beginning of 2012. This incentive will help the Land Conservancy work with farmers, ranchers and other landowners to increase the pace of conservation.

Landowners who act quickly to conserve their land can now enjoy these benefits, but they’re currently set to expire December 31, 2013.

Lapses in the enhanced incentive hamper our strategic conservation efforts and are frustrating for landowners. That’s why the Land Conservancy is working so hard to enact legislation to make the enhanced incentive permanent.

Generous landowners who donate voluntary conservation easements to the Land Conservancy are inspired by many things: they love our region, they feel connected to their land, and they wish to leave a legacy for future generations. This inspiration is central to our work to permanently protect valuable natural resources. But for almost all of our donors, donating a conservation easement is a major financial decision, and the federal income tax deduction that comes with a donation helps make easements possible for landowners in our community.

The legislation allows easement donors to:

  • Deduct up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income in any year (up from 30 percent);
  • Deduct up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income if the majority of that income came from farming, ranching or forestry; and
  • Continue to take deductions for as long as 16 years (previously six years).

Land Conservancy President and CEO Rich Cochran said the enhanced incentive is “an essential conservation tool at a time when land conservation, especially in northern Ohio needs all the resources it can muster.”

To learn more about the enhanced incentive visit: www.lta.org/easementincentive.

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