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Published February 18, 2011, 03:23 PM

Bill would make conservation tax credit permanent

DES MOINES, Iowa — Land trusts and property owners nationwide are hoping a temporary federal tax deduction for land donated for conservation will become permanent.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Land trusts and property owners nationwide are hoping a temporary federal tax deduction for land donated for conservation will become permanent.

Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Max Baucus, D-Mont., introduced a bill this week to do that.

The Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act of 2011 would allow landowners to deduct up to half of their income for 16 years in exchange for conservation easements that protect the property from future construction.

Farmers and ranchers could deduct all of their income as long as it wasn’t worth more than the land.

Before the enhanced credit went into effect in 2006, landowners received only a 30 percent deduction for six years. Since 2006, the number of acres protected each year has increased from about 750,000 to more than 1 million.

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