Land Trust Alliance applauds US Senate Finance Committee for advancing legislation that would stop bad actors from abusing federal tax incentive for conservation easement donations

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WASHINGTON , June 23, 2022 (press release) –

On Wednesday the U.S. Senate Finance Committee marked up The Enhancing American Retirement Now Act. The following statement can be attributed to Andrew Bowman, president and CEO of the Land Trust Alliance:

“The Land Trust Alliance applauds today’s actions of the Senate Finance Committee to advance an amendment to The Enhancing American Retirement Now Act that would, once and for all, stop bad actors from engaging in egregious abuse of the federal tax incentive for conservation easement donations.

“The amendment, which was approved by a 23-5 vote, was filed by Sens. Steve Daines, Debbie Stabenow and Chuck Grassley. It advances the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act – legislation that would eliminate the ability of investors to profit off the donation of a conservation easement on land held for a short period of time.

“Opponents of the Integrity Act contend that the original version was retroactive, a stance the Alliance strongly rejects and believes to be disingenuous. However, in the spirit of collaboration, respect for the legislative process and in recognition of the necessity to halt immediately any further abuse of the federal tax incentive for conservation easement donations, the Alliance strongly supports the amendment and now stands ready to do all it can to secure passage of the legislation as proposed.

“Congress alone has the power to stop these bad actors by enacting sensible, narrowly targeted legislation that curbs abuse and protects an invaluable conservation tool. This amendment does just that by providing a vehicle for stopping the massive bleeding of the U.S. Treasury caused by the actions of a few bad actors.

“I commend Sens. Daines, Stabenow and Grassley for offering up this amendment and now urge the full Senate to pass the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act this year, without further delay. Let’s end this abuse once and for all.”

More information about this issue is available here.

About the Land Trust Alliance

Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents approximately 950 member land trusts supported by more than 250,000 volunteers and 6.3 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at landtrustalliance.org.

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