As its final act before adjourning for the holidays, the Senate voted Tuesday night to extend dozens of expired tax incentives through the end of 2014. This includes the enhanced deduction for conservation easement donations. The president is expected to sign the bill.

The incentive has three components:

  • raising the deduction a landowner can take for donating a conservation easement from 30 percent of his or her income in any year to 50 percent;
  • allowing qualifying farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100 percent of their income;
  • extending the carry-forward period for a donor to take tax deductions for a voluntary conservation agreement from five to 15 years.

It is important to note that the incentive only applies to easements donated as early as 2006 and as late as Dec. 31, 2014. The Land Trust Alliance will continue to work to make this enhanced deduction permanent, but as it stands it will expire at the end of this year.