Land Trust Alliance Statement on U.S. Senate Finance Committee Investigative Report

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‘Congress Must Take Action Now’

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For too long and at a terrible cost to taxpayers, bad actors have disguised abusive tax shelters as legitimate conservation donations. These actors must be stopped.

The Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization working to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America, today welcomed a U.S. Senate investigative report regarding abuse of the federal conservation tax incentive. The following statement can be attributed to Andrew Bowman, president & CEO of the Land Trust Alliance:

“The Land Trust Alliance and our 1,000 member land trusts welcome the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s thorough and revealing report on abuse of the federal conservation tax incentive. The bipartisan investigation that yielded this report, led by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), concluded the ongoing abuse is egregious and must end. The report also makes clear in the starkest terms why Congress must take action now.

“For too long and at a terrible cost to taxpayers, bad actors have disguised abusive tax shelters as legitimate conservation donations. These actors must be stopped.

“A solution is ready for Congress to pass. The bipartisan Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act (S. 170 / H.R. 1992) will safeguard taxpayers by stopping these bad actors from their profiteering, all while allowing conservation donations motivated by charity to continue unimpeded. This legislation is concise, sensible and ready for passage in the House and Senate.

“On behalf of our member land trusts, I thank Sens. Steve Daines (R-Montana) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) along with Reps. Mike Thompson (D-California) and Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania) for championing this solution. The Land Trust Alliance joins the Appraisal Institute, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy and other leading appraisal and conservation organizations in urging Congress to end the outrageous abuse by passing the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act.”

More information about this issue is available at https://www.lta.org/integrity.

About the Land Trust Alliance

Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than 200,000 volunteers and 4.6 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at http://www.landtrustalliance.org.

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Joshua Lynsen
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