Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Worth Less Than a Business Meal

When reading the reasoning given in the Joint Congressional Report, I was struck by argument for only allowing 33% of an assessed value of an easement to be tax deductible. On pages 291 and 292 of the pdf, there's a discussion of precedents for setting an arbitrary value. One is the 50% disallowance of business meal and entertainment expense write-offs. So let me get this straight (again I'm not a tax attorney, nor do I play one on TV). A conservation easement that will satisfy a specific government conservation policy, like say, preventing development that could harm clean water for a nearby city, or preserve a family farm, or protect the ecosystem of an endangered species is LESS important to the public good than a business meal at a three star restaurant?!! TWO THIRDS of the value of the easement is disallowed, but only HALF of the business meal expense is disregarded. Don't get me wrong, I like a tax deductible business meal in a fine restaurant as much as the next guy, but is preserving the business meal more important than preserving wilderness to the american taxpayer? Maybe it is to people in Congress who eat a lot of those tax deductible meals, but I don't think it is to people who think preserving open spaces is pretty important too.


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10:52 PM  

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