July 27, 2012
Halperin: A Better Way to Encourage Gifts of Conservation Easements
Daniel Halperin (Harvard), A Better Way to Encourage Gifts of Conservation Easements, 136 Tax Notes 307 (July 16, 2012):
The author’s proposal would repeal the deduction for the appraised value of a conservation easement that is allowed by current law. Congress should consider replacing the subsidy with a program of direct grants or limited-budget tax credits administered by an expert agency. If the deduction is continued, eligible donees should be only large institutions with a large portfolio of easements and resources and motives to enforce the easement, there should be an excise tax on nonenforcement of the easement, and there should be another government agency other than the IRS involved in enforcement. The special higher allowances for the deduction of appreciated property allowed by current law should be repealed.
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