Important Update: Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act

For a number of years, we’ve highlighted our concerns about “syndication”, a tax shelter scheme that is designed to generate profits from so-called charitable donations for conservation easements.  The bottom line is that syndication is bad for landowners, land trusts, and the system of fair tax deductions that promotes land conservation.

The Land Trust Alliance and many national partners have been working hard to end this abusive practice and are helping guide the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act (H.R. 4164 and S. 2256) through Congress. 

We recently learned that the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act has been included in the reconciliation package for infrastructure that is currently before Congress (see Land Trust Alliance letter to Congressional leadership).  Not surprisingly, since this act will shut down these tax shelters, the unscrupulous investors who have profited are scrambling to defeat these important reforms.

If anyone within your land trust is contacted by someone claiming that the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act is bad for conservation:

  1. Don’t believe them, and don’t agree to help them.  They’re working to uphold these abusive tax shelters.
  2. Please contact Warren Whitney, Land Trust Program Director at Maine Coast Heritage Trust.  We’d like to know who, if anyone, is promoting syndication within Maine.

We look forward to shutting down syndication once and for all.