April Legislative Update

Detroit Free Press has a great article on the long legacy of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) and the current debate around the Michigan State Legislature’s attempts to divert funding from the MNRTF. You can find the article here

US Senators Introduce Federal Legislation to Permanently Extend Conservation Tax Incentives 

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced legislation in March to the U.S. Senate that would permanently extend a tax relief program for modest income landowners who donate their land for conservation. The Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act of 2013 would allow taxpayers to deduct up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income (AGI) for conservation easement donations and carry forward unused deductions for up to 15 years. Farmers and ranchers would be able to deduct up to 100 percent of their AGI. In particular, Sen. Baucus’ sponsorship of the legislation highlights the great work of conservancies across the country. In 2005, Senator Baucus believed that conservation easements should not be tax deductible, but through outreach and education conservation organizations helped win the Senator’s support.  Contact your US Senators to voice your opinion about this legislation.