Congressman Promotes Local Land Conservation
Local groups lend support to legislation to extend tax incentives for conservation easements.
Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-8th) joined Jeff Marshall, Chief Preservation Officer of the Heritage Conservancy, Jim Vaseleck, President of the Tinicum Conservancy, and Eve Marschark, President of the Bedminster Regional Land Conservancy to promote H.R. 1964, the Conservation Incentive Easement Act of 2011.
According to a release, the legislation would permanently extend tax incentives for landowners who surrender land development rights for conservation purposes. The current tax incentive is set to expire at the end of 2011.
“This legislation allows us to preserve our rich Bucks County heritage,” said Fitzpatrick, an original co-sponsor of the bill. “Through extending this tax credit, local landowners can help preserve this heritage. By donating a conservation easement farmers can maintain their livelihoods and productive use of their land while ensuring that it will not be developed in the future.”
H.R. 1964, which currently has 259 co-sponsors, would allow landowners of modest incomes to deduct a larger portion of the value of the land over a period of 16 years in exchange for a permanent conservation easement on the land, making such conservation economically feasible for more landowners. The easement would not affect current productive uses such as farming.
“Land protection is a promise,” said Jeff Marshall, Heritage Conservancy’s Chief Preservation Officer. “This promise is from our generation to future generations. It is important that we help individuals protect and secure this blessing for ourselves and others.”