Google announced earlier this year that it will now be offering Google Earth Pro for free. Google Earth Pro had previously required an annual subscription fee of several hundred dollars, and I have my doubts as to what the elimination of a paid subscription tier means for the future of Google Earth. But, first, let’s explore why this announcement is relevant to land preservation. Continue reading Google Earth Pro Is Now Free—But Why?
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
In an opinion dated Friday, April 24, 2015, the First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Gordon and Lorna Kaufman in their long-running easement fight with the IRS. In its published opinion (which you can read here), the First Circuit held that the Kaufmans could properly be assessed a 40% penalty for claiming $220,800 in charitable deductions for the donation of a façade easement that was later shown to be valueless. Let’s walk through the Kaufman case together and discover how it might be relevant to those wishing to donate conservation easements in Virginia. Continue reading First Circuit Decides Kaufman V, Rules Against Landowners in Easement Valuation Dispute
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
With the usual budget troubles brewing in Richmond, the land preservation tax credit (LPTC)—a transferable credit that results usually from either a donation of land or a donation of a conservation easement—has once again become the target of much scrutiny by lawmakers. Of the several bills that were introduced to limit the land preservation tax credit, two of these bills have now passed the full General Assembly. These bills, Senate Bill 1019 and House Bill 1828, were both finally approved by the General Assembly on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 and are now en route to the Governor for signature. Let’s examine Senate Bill 1019 and House Bill 1828 and how they will likely change land preservation efforts in Virginia. Continue reading General Assembly Places Limits on Land Preservation Tax Credit