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Bipartisan Bill Would End Abuse of Conservation Easements

Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley and a bipartisan group of three other senators introduced a bill called the “Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act.” 

The goal of the legislation is to stop the abuse of conservation easements, save taxpayers billions of dollars, and promote conservation in the U.S. “The conservation easement program is an important tool for protecting and preserving our environment,” Grassley says. 

“But bad-faith scammers have taken advantage of the program through abusive schemes at the expense of the American taxpayer.” 

Grassley investigated the growing number of scams and says they won’t stop without legislative action. 

“I’m glad to join Democratic Senators Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Ron Wyden of Oregon, along with fellow Republican Steve Daines of Montana, in introducing this bill that would stop these scams from undermining the good work of farmers, ranchers, and conservationists,” Grassley adds. 

Despite increased enforcement from the Internal Revenue Service, recent IRS data shows the total amount of deductions claimed through these tax shelters increased from $6.8 billion in 2017 to $9.2 billion in 2018. 

The bill preserves an important charitable deduction for people who have true charity and conservation in mind, including for family farms and ranches.

(Story Courtesy of the NAFB News Service)

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