Wyoming County Register
By Will Eggleston
July 24, 2019
Millions of Americans take advantage of deductions permitted on their tax return for charitable giving. This incentive is an important reward that encourages donations that ultimately contribute to the public good.
Despite the “Doom and gloom” projected for charities because of passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Americans contributed a record $427.71 billion in 2018, up from the previous record $410 billion set in 2017. That said, I believe passage of S. 170, the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act, could negatively impact future giving, particularly as it relates to land conservation donations.
Land conservation is incredibly important. The land conservation incentives that currently exist allow for the preservation of agricultural land that feeds us, forests that give us clean air and water, and natural habitats that add both recreational and environmental value to Pennsylvania. The current incentives work. You have to look no further than the 20 million plus acres of land that have been preserved using these tax incentives for a measure of the law’s success.
Lawmakers should encourage continue land conservation, not make it more cumbersome. S. 170 is a step backwards for charitable giving because it restricts access to these much-needed and widely used tax incentives by adding layers of bureaucratic red tape to the program.
I encourage Senators Toomey and Casey to stand for future land conservation by opposing S. 170.
Read a similar LTE in The Citizens Voice.