House votes to make conservation tax incentive permanent

Posted on July 18, 2014 in Press Center

Today Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Land Trusts across the country and conservation advocates everywhere are celebrating the bipartisan passage of the House bill to make the enhanced conservation easement tax incentive permanent. The bill passed by a vote of 277-130.

This is a huge victory for conservation, and we couldn't have done it without you! Thank you to those of you who responded to our recent request to contact your Representative to urge their support. Your voice really does make a difference!

Of course, our work is not yet done: We still need to get the tax incentive through the Senate.

As we savor today's success, know that Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation will be monitoring this initiative's progress and hoping you will be ready to weigh in again when it comes up in the Senate.

What exactly does the enhanced conservation easement incentive do? It allows landowners of modest means to voluntarily choose conservation by:

  • Raising the maximum deduction a donor can take for donating a conservation easement from 30% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) in any year to 50%;
  • Allowing qualified farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their AGI; and
  • Increasing the number of years over which a donor can take deductions from 6 to 16 years.
  • Without the enhanced easement incentive, an agricultural landowner earning $50,000 a year who donated a conservation easement worth $1 million could take a total of no more than $90,000 in tax deductions! Under the enhanced incentive, that landowner can take as much as $800,000.