Lehigh Valley Live
By John Ferro, LTE
September 3, 2019
As a member of the Monroe County Open Space Committee, I believe we should oppose Senate Bill 170, the 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 individuals donating land for conservation.
Agriculture, clean air and water, wildlife habitats and recreational 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 more than 20 million acres of land have been preserved as a result.