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

Governor Signs Bill Allowing Alternate Names for Buggs Island Lake

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has now signed Senate Bill 972 into law, which allows state and local agencies to refer to Buggs Island Lake as “Kerr Lake” or the “John H. Kerr Reservoir.”

Legislation passed in 1952 required state and local agencies to refer to the reservoir only as “Buggs Island Lake,” which was declared to be the reservoir’s “true and proper name.” Congress had originally given it the name of “Buggs Island Reservoir” in 1944 but abruptly changed the name to the “John H. Kerr Reservoir” in 1951 to honor a North Carolina congressman, angering Virginia lawmakers at the time. The majority of Buggs Island Lake is located in Virginia. Continue reading Governor Signs Bill Allowing Alternate Names for Buggs Island Lake