2/17/2003

From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Land Trusts Attempt Stealth Tax Cut


Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400  Battle Ground, WA. 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087  Fax: 360-687-2973  E-mail: alra@landrights.org
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE- Washington, DC 20003
Phone: (202-210-2357  Fax: 202-543-7126  E-mail: landrightsnet@aol.com






Land Trusts Attempt Stealth Tax Cut

TAX  FAVORITISM  for the Nature Conservancy approved by Senate Committee!!

Democratic Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Republican Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) propose huge new benefit for the Nature Conservancy and other land trusts - at the expense of private property owners, communities and other charities.

S.256, Sections 106 and 107!

*** ALERT *** TERRIBLE  LEGISLATION *** TAX  FAVORITISM  for the Nature Conservancy and other land trusts!!!

Here is the  FIRST  bill out of the chute that is moving in Congress that impacts private property rights.  It has  ALREADY  been approved by the Senate Finance Committee, on Feb. 5!  It is a 25% tax cut on capital gains of land sales - but only if the land is sold to an environmental group or to a government agency!  

Private parties, or non-environmentalist charities such as churches and orphanages are left in the dust - they can take a hike!

This would hand over to the Nature Conservancy and other already wealthy land trusts a nearly insurmountable advantage of up to 25% when competing with private purchasers for property.  It would be devastating to family businesses attempting to keep property in private hands through sale to relatives.  

It will take more land off the tax rolls, damaging the tax base of rural communities in public lands dominated regions of the country.  And this proposed tax advantage does not apply to churches, orphanages or other non-profit charities when purchasing land! ONLY  land trusts and government agencies!!!

WORST  OF  ALL  -  even though it is technically a tax break for the  SELLER of the land, all it will benefit is the  BUYER,  if the buyer is a land trust!  

HERE  is why:  the land trusts can and will reduce their offers for land purchase. They will have up to a 25% advantage when bidding versus private parties, because of the tax benefit to the seller.  So the seller will get a smaller sale price, reducing his tax benefit, while the land trust spends less money.  

AND S.256 effectively locks out private buyers, eliminating competition which might otherwise drive the price of the land up.  Federal agencies and the land trusts, often working together, will have a huge advantage without any competition to remotely keep them honest.

PLUS,  that is assuming that there is even a private bidder, once the Big Green Machine has worked over the landowner with threats of increased regulation and strong arm tactics from the Federal land buying agencies,  the Endangered Species Act and other laws.  

HERE  IT  IS:  Incredibly, this is part of the Faith-Based Initiative legislation heading through Congress.  So a bill designed to help charities to help people has quietly had this provision tacked onto it by multibillion dollar land trusts for their own selfish benefit!  

OF  COURSE,  this has been done with  NO  PUBLIC  HEARINGS.  The land trusts prefer to work in the dark, behind closed doors.

ACTION  ITEM  -  SHINE  THE  LIGHT  on this attack on private property rights, and this hijacking of the Faith Based Initiative.  

S.256, Sections 106 and 107 - "The CARE Act of 2003"  while the entire bill deals with a variety of tax deductions, it is Sections 106 and 107 of S.256 which has the free hand out for the Nature Conservancy. 

TELL your Senator and Congressmen to take out Sections 106 and 107 from S.256!!!  Defend private property rights - land trusts should not get special tax breaks that churches and orphanages do not get in the "Faith Based Initiative" !!!

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW!!!

-----1.   Call both your Senators and your Congressman.     You may call any Senator or Representative at the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.  YOU  CAN  USE  TWO  TEMPORARY  TOLL  FREE NUMBERS.  THEY  ARE:  
(800) 648-3516 or (877) 762-8762.   When the switchboard answers, ask for your Senators office.  Then ask for the staff person who covers S.256, tax issues or natural resource issues . . . or each of them.

-----2.  Send a fax objecting to this special secret deal to both your Senators plus your Representative.  If you do not have their fax number, call the toll free number above to get it from your Senator or Representative.

-----3.  Send a letter to them at the following addresses:

Honorable		US Senate, Washington, DC 20510.
Honorable		US House of Representatives, Washington, DC 10515

----4.  Tell your local newspaper about this special interest secret attack on private property.

Please forward this message as widely as possible.

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