Pre­serve tax cred­its that pre­serve nat­u­ral re­sources

The Morning Call - - TOWN SQUARE - John Ferro Mid­dle Smith­field Town­ship

As a mem­ber of the Mon­roe County Open Space Com­mit­tee, I be­lieve we should op­pose Se­nate Bill 170 [Char­i­ta­ble Con­ser­va­tion Ease­ment Pro­gram In­tegrity Act of 2019] as it will change our cur­rent tax in­cen­tives to donate land for preser­va­tion. In 2015, I was pleased when Congress made per­ma­nent the tax credit for those in­di­vid­u­als do­nat­ing land for con­ser­va­tion.

Agri­cul­tural preser­va­tion, clean air and wa­ter, wildlife habi­tats and re­cre­ation use are just some of the rea­sons to pre­serve land. In the 1970s, Congress iden­ti­fied the need for land ease­ments and pro­vided a tax de­duc­tion for do­na­tions of land to a qual­i­fied land trust. The tax de­duc­tions be­came per­ma­nent in 2015, and over a decade over 20 mil­lion acres of land have been pre­served as a re­sult.

If Se­nate Bill 170 is passed, it will threaten any fu­ture ef­forts to con­serve land.

We should ask our U.S. Sen­a­tors to op­pose Se­nate Bill 170 and stand up for con­tin­ued preser­va­tion of our nat­u­ral re­sources.

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