On August 23, 2018, the IRS released new proposed tax regulations that penalize Virginia conservation easement donors for receiving the land preservation tax credit. This new rule significantly reduces the tax benefits that Virginia landowners will receive for donating a conservation easement. Continue reading Proposed SALT Regulation Reduces Conservation Easement Tax Deductions
On this page, you will find analysis of the latest political news involving conservation easements or other land preservation efforts in Virginia. This political news will usually deal with either (1) policy announcements made by the Governor of Virginia or (2) legislation being considered in the General Assembly of Virginia.
Additionally, because land preservation so often results in federal charitable deductions for the landowner, I will cover legislation being considered in the U.S. Congress that will affect the tax treatment of donations of conservation easements. The President of the United States rarely makes policy announcements regarding land preservation, but, if he does, I’ll cover those, too.
Seek and Ye Shall Find: An Update on the Virginia Treasures Initiative
I write today to provide an update on the Virginia Treasures initiative: On Thursday, December 15, 2016, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced in a press release that his goal of preserving 1,000 “Virginia Treasures” had been reached a full year ahead of schedule. This announcement has received limited press so far—I’ve only seen stories from WTKR (Channel 3 in Norfolk) and the Augusta Free Press, and these stories mostly just regurgitate the press release. Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading Seek and Ye Shall Find: An Update on the Virginia Treasures Initiative
Enhanced Conservation Easement Tax Incentive Reinstated, Made Permanent
After more than eleven months of limbo, the enhanced conservation easement tax incentive was reinstated and made permanent as part of the Congressional budget deal on December 18, 2015. This federal tax incentive provides preferential treatment to donations of conservation easements that ordinary charitable donations do not receive. Let’s take a closer look at the history of the enhanced tax incentive and how the enhanced tax incentive benefits donors of conservation easements. Continue reading Enhanced Conservation Easement Tax Incentive Reinstated, Made Permanent
To Seek a Thousand Treasures
I have written several times about Governor Terry McAuliffe’s goal of preserving 400,000 acres during his term. (See here and here.) This goal has been quite tentative, to say the least, during the past year or so. But now we finally have a definite answer as to Governor McAuliffe’s conservation goal for his term:
Instead of preserving 400,000 acres, he wants to preserve 1,000 treasures.
Let’s take a look together at the new initiative and how it might impact conservation efforts in Virginia. Continue reading To Seek a Thousand Treasures
Governor Signs Legislation Placing Limits on Land Preservation Tax Credit
According to Virginia’s Legislative Information Service, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has now signed House Bill 1828 into law. As reported previously, H.B. 1828 places new limits on the land preservation tax credit, which is a tax incentive designed to encourage donations of conservation easements as well as outright donations of land. Governor McAuliffe approved the bill on March 17, 2015. The bill is being published as Chapter 235 of the 2015 Virginia Acts of Assembly. Continue reading Governor Signs Legislation Placing Limits on Land Preservation Tax Credit