9/02/2003

From: alra@governance.net
Subject: CRISIS ALERT: Land Trust Land Grab!

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




CRISIS ALERT: Land Trust Land Grab!



THIS  IS  AN  ALL-OUT  ALERT ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

*****VOTE THIS THURSDAY

THIS  Thursday afternoon, September 4, the House of Representatives committee which writes tax laws, the Ways and Means Committee, will vote on amendments that would hand over a $948 million tax break to already gigantic and powerful Land Trusts!!!

The bill is HR 7, called the "Faith Based Initiative."  It is supposed to place advantages into the federal government's tax code to benefit charities such as private schools, churches and orphanages, to encourage social service work.

INCREDIBLY, the environmentalist community, always hungry for more federal dollars, have jammed their sticky fingers into this honey pot!!!  This time it is the Land Trusts who are seeking Tax Favoritism for themselves, at the expense of the rest of the country.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC), with assets of $3 Billion and annual revenue of $700 million, is leading the way.  TNC and over 1,000 other Land Trusts are proposing amendments to HR 7 which would hand themselves a huge tax break - at the expense of both private property rights and the very social service organizations that the bill was designed to help!!!  Also, at a cost of $948 million, it would also create an even bigger budget deficit!

Here is the deal.  The Land Trusts are demanding a loophole that will discount 50% off of capital gains taxes for a seller of land -BUT  only if land is sold to a Land Trust or government agency!  This places churches, private schools and private parties at a comparative disadvantage when attempting to purchase land - because this Tax Favoritism only applies if land is sold to a Land Trust or the government!

This will severely devalue private property.  This allows Land Trusts and government agencies to cut their offering price by nearly the amount of the tax cut, so effectively the only beneficiary is the land trust.

ALSO - this $948 million handout will increase the budget deficit.

ALSO - Land Trusts, since they are "non-profits," already have huge advantages over private parties, since they don't pay taxes and contributions to them are tax deductible.  ENOUGH  IS  ENOUGH!!!

ALSO - this Tax Favoritism proposal will discourage private parties from even bidding on land, so the only offers for land will be made by the twin buzzards of Land Trusts and government agencies.  Do you think you will get a fair price from them???

The Nature Conservancy and the other land trusts DO NOT need yet another tax break! There is already a huge budget deficit!

NO special tax loopholes, NO Tax Favoritism for mulitbillion dollar corporations like The Nature Conservancy (TNC).

TNC calls itself a "non-profit" - but profited over $700 million last year alone from grant money from taxpayers, selling land to government agencies paid by taxpayers, and insider trading deals underwritten by tax breaks financed by taxpayers.  NOW  THEY  WANT  MORE !!!



ACTION  ITEMS:


NUMBER  ONE.

Contact  BOTH  your House member and  ALL  of the key House Ways and Means 
Committee members listed below.  This issue has changed up the usual "conservatives" and "liberals" into an unpredictable mix, so ANY House member is fair game.  Tell them that the gigantic Land Trusts should not gain yet another advantage over private property written into the tax code.  Enough is enough!!

FAX is your most powerful tool at this late date.  Phone calls too.  E-mails may not be read in time.

-----You can call every Representative at (202) 224-3121.   A TEMPORARY TOLL FREE  NUMBER  is (800) 648-3516.   	


House Ways and Means Committee

William Thomas  (R-CA)  -- (202) 225-2915  -- FAX (202) 225-8798  E-mail:  bill.Thomas@mail.house.gov

Philip Crane (R-IL) --  (202) 225-3711  FAX (202) 225-7830  E-mail  go to www.house.gov/crane

Nancy Johnson (R-CN) --  (202 225- 4476  FAX (202 225-4488  E-mail -- go to www.house.gov/nancyjohnson

Amory Houghton (R-NY)  (202) 225-3161  FAX (202) 225-5574  E-mail  go to www.houghton.house.gov

Wally Herger (R-CA)  (202) 225- 3076  No fax listed  E-mail  go to www.house.gov/herger

Jim McCrery (R-LA)  (202) 225-2777  FAX (202) 225-8039  E-mail  go to www.house.gov/mccrery

Dave Camp (R-MI)  (202) 225-3561  FAX (202) 225-9679  E-mail  go to www.house.gov/camp

Jim Ramstad (R-MN)  -- (202) 225-2871  FAX (202) 225-6351  E-mail:  mn03@mail.house.gov

Jim Nussle (R-IA)  (202) 225-2911  FAX (202) 225-9129  E-mail: nussleia@mail.house.gov

Sam Johnson (R-TX)  (202) 225-4201  FAX (202) 225-1485  E-mail  go to www.samjohnson.house.gov

Jennifer Dunn (R-WA)  (202) 225-7761  FAX (202) 225-8673  E-mail: dunnwa08@mail.house.gov

Michael Collins (R-GA)  (202) 225-5901  FAX (202) 225-2515  E-mail  go to www.house.gov/maccollins

Rob Portman (R-OH)  (202) 225-3164  FAX (202) 225-1992  E-mail: portmail@mail.house.gov

Philip English (R-PA)  (202) 225-5406  FAX (202) 225-3103  E-mail  go to www.house.gov/english

J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ)  -- (202) 225-2190  FAX (202) 225-3263  E-mail: jdhayworth@mail.house.gov

Jerry Weller (R-IL)  (202) 225-3635  FAX (202) 225-3521  E-mail  go to www.house.gov/weller

Kenny Hulshof (R-MO)  (202) 225-2956  FAX (202) 225-5712  E-mail  go to www.house.gov/hulshof

Scott McInnis (R-CO)  -- (202) 225-4761  FAX (202) 225-0622  E-mail  go to www.house.gov/mcinnis

Ron Lewis (R-KY)  (202) 225-3501  FAX (202) 225-2019  E-mail:  ron.lewis@!mail.house.gov

Mark Foley (R-FL)  (202) 225-5792  FAX (202) 225-3132  E-mail  go to www.house.gov/foley

Kevin Brady (R-TX)  -- (202) 225-4901  FAX (202) 225-5524  E-mail  go to www.house.gov/brady

Paul Ryan (R-WI)  -- (202) 225-3031  FAX (202) 225-3393  E-mail  go to www.house.gov/ryan

Eric Cantor (R-VA)  (202) 225-2815  FAX (202) 225-0011  E-mail  go to www.cantor.house.gov



NUMBER  TWO.

Contact Congressmen Roy Blunt and Richard Pombo, who are leading the fight for  PROPERTY  RIGHTS.  Blunt and Pombo believe that multi-billion dollar land trusts already have plenty of advantages built into the tax code.  They are fighting for  YOUR  community's future and your property rights.  TELL  THEM  to keep up the great work, and  THANK  THEM.  Here are their key staffers:

For Rep. Roy Blunt, please contact:
April Ponnuru - april.ponnuru@mail.house.gov

Rep. Richard Pombo, please contact:
Laura Hylden - laura.hylden@mail.house.gov


NUMBER  THREE.

INCREDIBLY, the Washington, DC offices of the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association have  CAVED  IN  to the Land Trusts!  They are afraid to fight, and have meekly lined up in the shadow of the Land Trust lobbyists in support of this massive handout - this sellout of private property, water rights, and tax funds.  This cave-in has  NOT  been approved by state affiliates of either organization!

IF  you are a member of the Farm Bureau or the Cattlemen's Association, then contact your state chapter and the lobbyists below and ask them what the heck is going on!!!  Was this massive handout of land and water rights ever voted on by the membership???  WHY  are your lobbyists in Washington, DC failing to fight for the membership???

WHY  are they caving in,  AFRAID  to do battle with the massive land trusts who seek to convert agricultural land out of private hands and hand it over to government control???  Was this ever approved by the membership, why was this decision to cave in done in secret, in Washington, DC???

#*#*#*#  Has your state organization approved this, do they even know about it???  #*#*#*#*

HERE are the Farm Bureau lobbyists who caved in:
Patricia Wolff - patw@fb.com
Richard Newpher - richardn@fb.com
Phone 202-484-3600
Fax   202-484-3604

HERE are the Cattlemen's lobbyists who caved in:
Jeff Eisenberg - jeisenberg@beef.org
Myra Hyde - mhyde@beef.org
Phone 202-347-0228
Fax  202-638-0607

TELL  THEM, and your state affiliates - the multibillion dollar Land Trusts have  ENOUGH  advantages already!!!  Enough is enough!

_________________________________________________________________
PLEASE  FORWARD  THIS  MESSAGE  AS  WIDELY  AS  POSSIBLE!!!
       





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