Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Tax Incentives Benefit Easement Holders

Conservation easements offer significant benefits for landowners, and are a powerful force for conservation. Easements allow owners to continue to own the land and continue traditional uses like farming and ranching, while restricting development to protect wildlife habitat, clean water and open space. The Nature Conservancy has protected land through easements in all 50 states, including more than 25,000 acres in Idaho.

New tax incentives are available for private landowners interested in protecting the important conservation values of their lands through the donation of conservation easements.

On August 17, 2006, President Bush signed into law the Pension Protection Act of 2006. This legislation contains a two-year provision that in 2006 and 2007 will enhance the tax benefits of protecting your land when you donate a conservation easement.

If you own land with important natural resources, donating a conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy can be one of the smartest, most cost-effective ways to conserve the lands and waters you love.

By donating a conservation easement, you can help fulfill your vision for your property and protect America’s natural heritage—while maintaining private property rights and possibly realizing significant tax benefits.

Summary of the Improved Benefits
For many landowners, the new law enhances the tax benefits of protecting private land. The legislation improves the tax incentive for donating conservation easements by allowing conservation 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 carry over unused portions of deductions for as long as 15 years (up from 5 years) after the initial year in which the deduction was claimed.

Learn more about conservation easements.

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