Pulse Results

LANDTHINK Pulse: Tax Break for Conservation Easements Should Be Extended; Regarded as Valuable Incentive for Preservation

LANDTHINK Pulse: Tax Break for Conservation Easements Should Be Extended; Regarded as Valuable Incentive for Preservation

November’s LANDTHINK Pulse revealed 74.8% of respondents strongly feel that the Federal Tax Incentive for Conservation Easements should be continued.

Millions of acres have been protected nationwide via conservation easements. The federal tax incentive motivates landowners, mainly farmers and ranchers, to preserve the nature of their land and protect it from future development, even if the land is sold. According to the Land Trust Alliance, the tax incentive has “increased the pace of conservation by a third nationwide”. The expanded benefit expires with the New Year, but wildlife groups, land trusts and other preservationists are vigilantly lobbying Congress to extend the break.

Last month, the November Pulse asked: The Enhanced Tax Incentive for Conservation Easements is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2013. Should this federal tax incentive be continued?

The overwhelming answer to our informal online survey was “YES”, given by 74.8% of those responding. A mere 25.2% said “NO”, the federal tax incentive should not be continued.

The results of the survey were not surprising, many are adamant that vast areas of land should be protected in perpetuity by Conservation Easements, and the tax incentive certainly motivates farmers and ranchers to join the program. The IRS argues that the program benefits already very wealthy landowners and it provides very little benefit to the public. The break allows individuals to deduct up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income (AGI), instead of 30 percent. Qualified farmers and ranchers can deduct 100% of their AGI and taxpayers can carry over anything above $100,000 for a maximum of 15 years.

LANDTHINK Pulse: Tax Break for Conservation Easements Should Be Extended; Regarded as Valuable Incentive for Preservation

  • 74.8% answered YES, the federal tax incentive SHOULD be continued
  • 25.2% answered NO, the federal tax incentive SHOULD NOT be continued

Congratulations to David Wilson, winner of the $50 Amazon gift card after answering the November Pulse question! David is Associate Broker at Fonville Morisey Realty in Durham, North Carolina.

Thank you to everyone who participated and shared the Pulse with friends and connections in the land industry.

LANDTHINK is seeking sponsors for the January LANDTHINK Pulse and months thereafter. Sponsorship of the Pulse is an excellent opportunity for land industry businesses and professionals to receive significant exposure by leveraging our entire network of web and social media sites. Pulse sponsorships are offered on a first come first serve basis and are subject to certain limitations. If your business would be interested in sponsoring next month’s January Pulse question, please contact us soon.

Do you have a suggestion for next month’s Pulse question? Submit your question here and we might choose yours!

What should be the most important focus of the Farm Bill beyond commodity titles and crop insurance? Tell us what you think! Click here to answer the December Pulse question. All respondents will be automatically entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

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