Two Congressmen plan to introduce bipartisan legislation that will make tax incentives for conservation easements permanent. Representative Mike Thompson, (D) CA and Jim Gerlach, (R) PA plan to present the Conservation Easement Act of 2013 in the coming weeks. The bill will make permanent the enhanced tax package for conservation easements that was renewed in December of 2012. Those same incentives will expire at the end of 2013 if congress takes no action.

Highlights of the bill include making the maximum deduction for landowners up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income. For qualified farmers, this deduction goes up to 100 percent of their AGI. The bill would also extend the number of years the deduction can be used from 5 to 15 years.

At least 50 groups support the bill, including the Land Trust Alliance, Ducks Unlimited, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and The Nature Conservancy.

Be sure to tell your congressional representative to support this bill so that we can keep preserving and protecting special spaces for generations to come.