JDCF is pleased to announce a bipartisan congressional vote that makes permanent a federal tax incentive supporting land conservation. Farmers, ranchers, and the public will directly benefit from the incentive that encourages landowners to place a conservation easement on their land to protect important natural, scenic, and historic resources.
JDCF is a member of the Land Trust Alliance, the national land conservation organization that led the campaign to incentivize more land conservation through increased tax benefits to the land owner. JDCF was among the 1,100 land trusts to support the incentive through a collaborative, multi-year campaign.
“The importance of this vote – and this incentive – cannot be overstated,” said Rand Wentworth, the Alliance’s president. “This is the single greatest legislative action in decades to support land conservation. It states, unequivocally, that we as a nation treasure our lands and must conserve their many benefits for all future generations.”
The incentive grants certain tax benefits to landowners who sign a conservation easement. Conservation easements are voluntary agreements between land owners and local land trusts that permanently limit uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. Lands placed into conservation easements can continue to be farmed, hunted or used for other specified purposes. The lands also remain on county tax rolls, strengthening local economies.
The incentive advanced through Congress as part of the America Gives More Act, a package of tax incentives to encourage charitable giving. The agreement announced last week additionally encourages donations to food banks and facilitates charitable deductions from IRAs. It was supported by all three legislators from Jo Daviess County; Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.