skip navigation

Home > News > Congress Extends Enhanced Easement Tax Incentive

Congress Extends Enhanced Easement Tax Incentive

In late December, and with support from Maine's entire Congressional Delegation, President Obama signed a bill that renews a 2006 incentive enabling landowners to receive a significant tax benefit for donating conservation easements on their land. The incentive, which lapsed on December 31 of 2009, is now in effect until December 31, 2011 and retroactive to January 1, 2010. This marks the second time in four years that this enhanced incentive has been extended. Since it was enacted in 2006, making the change permanent has been the number one priority of the Land Trust Alliance. As the new Congress begins its work in 2011, the effort to achieve permanence will continue.

The enhanced incentive, which applies to a landowner's federal income tax:

• Raises the deduction a donor can take for donating a voluntary conservation agreement from 30% of their income in any year to 50%;

• Allows farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their income; and

• Increases the number of years over which a donor can take deductions from 6 to 16 years.

For more background information on what the incentive means, the policy history, and how the land trust community can promote its permanent enactment in the future, visit the Land Trust Alliance's website: Easement Tax Incentive.

If you have additional questions, please contact MCHT Public Policy Coordinator Jeff Romano.