For Immediate Release
Contact: Jon Conradi
Washington, D.C. – Partnership for Conservation (P4C) chairman and president Robert Ramsay issued a statement Thursday on the reintroduction of the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act in the U.S. Senate.
“This unfair bill represents one of the worst tax policy proposals we have seen in decades,” said P4C President Robert Ramsay. “This proposed legislation will hike taxes on thousands of taxpayers retroactively, forcing them to amend their income tax returns from 2016 through 2020 – and retroactively imposing on them significant interest and penalties. Retroactively rewriting the law to increase taxes and penalties – in this case by five years, is particularly egregious.”
“Taxpayers must be able to rely on the laws in force when they make financial decisions,” Ramsay continued “Congress should not make retroactive changes to even one tax incentive as it signals that all tax incentives could be changed after the fact. Just the specter of retroactive changes discourages taxpayers from making a broad range of financial decisions based on current law, including investments in low-income housing and in opportunity zones. This has proven especially true for the conservation of critical habitats which has been chilled by abusive actions from the IRS and misguided legislative proposals threatening retroactive tax hikes.”
“This legislation would also undermine market-based conservation tools at a critical time,” Ramsay added. “The president has rightly recognized the need to expand the conservation of critical lands and private-sector tools like partnerships will be invaluable to meeting the goals of the 30 by 30 commitment.”
“Congress must engage with stakeholders to formulate an alternative bill that eliminates punitive retroactivity,” Ramsay said. “P4C will continue to engage with policymakers and stakeholders to find an equitable path forward to uphold the integrity of all conservation easements and ensure Americans’ access to participate in market-based conservation incentives.”
Read more on the environmental value of partnership conservation HERE.
Read more on why market-based conservation tools will be critical to meeting the 30 x 30 benchmark HERE.
Learn more about P4C’s legislative proposals relating to market-based conservation solutions HERE.