Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Monday, February 07, 2005

Budget Reading at Lunch

I tried to plow my way through the President's Budget proposal at lunch today (So you'll know my research isn't exactly comprehensive) to figure out what the tea leaves indicate for line items of land trust interest. I found a couple of things, but here's the clearest hint on the administration's take on the conservation easement battle, and it comes from the Chronicle of Philantrophy which found the following nugget on proposals affecting charities.
"Another proposal would impose penalties on charities that fail to enforce conservation easements. Treasury officials said they are concerned that that some charities fail to monitor and enforce the conservation restrictions for which donors claimed charitable deductions.
That could give trusts a good argument on the Hill, penalize the wrongdoers, don't penalize everyone.
I couldn't find that part of the budget. But I did find that the administration is calling for slightly increasing the amount allocated for tax deductions for historic facades, which close readers of this blog know has been tied to the conservation easement. I can't find the line for conservation easements, which probably means I'm looking in the wrong place.
Also of interest, funding for land acquisition through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through direct federal purchase would be increased slightly, but grants to states for the same purpose would be cut to nothing.
If others (and I know there are) are better at reading the budget and can update me on the easement provision, or other lines of interest here, please drop me a line.


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