Congressional House leadership has scheduled a vote on July 16 or 17 on a bill to permanently enact several charitable tax incentives, including H.R. 2807, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act. The bill will come to the House floor as part of a larger charities package.

This is a unique opportunity for the land trust community. Our provision officially has a bipartisan majority of the House with a total of 222 co-sponsors. But we can’t take anyone’s vote for granted. Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” That goes double for a Congressional vote.

Whether or not your congressman or woman was a co-sponsor, please call your representative to urge him or her to support this bill when it comes up for a vote next Wednesday or Thursday, and encourage your land trust supporters and members to call as well. You can reach your representative by calling the House switchboard at 202-225-3121.

Making permanent the enhanced tax deduction for conservation easements has been a priority for the land trust community since 2006. This will be the first time we’ve been able to get a vote on this on the House floor.