Baucus, Hatch work to incentivize conservation easements

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2013 -Senators Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced a bipartisan tax bill that will extend tax breaks for those who donate conservation easements on agricultural land.

The Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act of 2013 makes permanent the enhanced tax incentive for conservation easements that is set to expire at the end of 2013.

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The provision allows all taxpayers to deduct up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income (AGI) for qualified donations of conservation easements. Any unused deduction can be carried forward for up to 15 years. The bill further benefits farmers and ranchers by allowing them to deduct up to 100 percent of their AGI for donations of conservation easements.

“Protecting our outdoor heritage is the right thing to do today and for our kids and grandkids,” Baucus noted. “Montana family farmers who want to help conserve agricultural spaces deserve certainty and some simple tools to help them share their blessings with future generations."



“This legislation gives smart, responsible tax relief to farmers and ranchers to keep their land, while guaranteeing future generations' access to our wide, open spaces,” said Senator Hatch. “This is a win-win for rural America and it's past time Congress took action to make these tax incentives permanent.”

According to the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Baucus originally introduced the legislation to create an enhanced conservation easement tax deduction with Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in 2006. The provision was then extended in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, the Taxpayer Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 and most recently in the American Tax Relief Act of 2012. The provision is now set to expire at the end of 2013.




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