9/03/2003

From: alra@governance.net
Subject: VOTE FRIDAY!!   Land Trusts Tax Scam!!

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



VOTE FRIDAY!!   Land Trusts Tax Scam!!



*****  100%  MAXIMUM  ALERT !!!  *****

PLEASE  -  GO  ALL  OUT  ON  THIS  ONE !!

The vote is  ONLY  A  DAY  AWAY !!!!!!!


WE  ARE  MAKING  PROGRESS ! ! ! ! !


****Your calls forced the Vote on the Land Trust Tax Favoritism Amendment to be delayed until Friday morning.  

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other massive, Multibillion Dollar Land Trusts are demanding a huge new tax break for themselves - at the expense of churches, private schools, orphanages and private property owners!

TNC has $700 million in annual revenue, much of it from government grants, selling land to government agencies, and tax deductible contributions - all subsidized by you - the taxpayer!!  TNC  has over $3 BILLION in assets, owns millions of acres of land, has thousands of employees, operates in dozens of countries across the world, and is notorious for cutting insider trading deals with the corporate CEOs on their board of directors.  BUT  THEY  DEMAND  MORE!!



###  The vote is NOW THIS FRIDAY MORNING,  September 5.




SEE  BELOW  ACTION  ITEMS  FOR  HR 7 - the Faith Based Initiative bill.

###  The Land Trusts are losing ground - we may win!!!

### Here is the Tax Favoritism that they are DEMANDING:

The Land Trusts are demanding a loophole that will discount 50% off of capital gains taxes for a seller of land - BUT - only if the land is sold to a Land Trust or government agency!  If the land is sold to anyone else, forget it - no tax break.

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!

And here is the rest of the story - the only ones who will benefit from this special deal are Land Trusts,  NOT  the seller of the land.  Here is why:

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

This Tax Favoritism for the Land Trusts is even worse than it seems.  
Consider the following additional impacts:

a) it will damage the property tax base of communities since more and more land will become tax-exempt.  This increases the tax burden on remaining private land - while the Land Trusts sit back, not paying any taxes, and lick their chops deciding who to go after next.

b)  it will hand over more land to government agencies, since this Tax Favoritism proposal permits the tax break for sales of land  ONLY  to Land Trusts or government agencies.

c)  it will cost, according the House-Senate Joint Taxation Committee, $948 million - nearly a  BILLION  dollars added to America's national debt, just to feed the Land Trusts hunger for more power.

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

e)  this Tax Favoritism proposal will discourage private parties from even bidding on land, so many times 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???

f)  HR 7, the Faith Based Initiative that the Land Trusts are attempting to amend, is intended to encourage churches, orphanages and private schools to promote social services.  The Land Trusts desire to place themselves at an advantage over private schools and churches in this very bill!!!

g)  WATER  RIGHTS.  The Land Trusts are demanding that this Tax Favoritism include sales of water rights, damaging future agriculture use.


*** ACTION  *** ACTION  ***  ACTION  ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Some people are fighting back!!!  JOIN  THEM  PLEASE !!!

EXAMPLES:

Mr. Otis Ingram of the Forest Landowners Association says, "This legislation is nothing more than a public subsidy for so-called environmental groups to purchase private property, and remove it from productive use.  It amazes me that this horrible proposal keeps popping up, despite its obvious problems."

A property owner in Alabama wrote to his congressman today:  "This is wrong.   They don't need the tax breaks, they are already non-profits!  It will allow Land Trusts to cut their offering price for property as compared to others since the net to the seller is greater."

A state Farm Bureau official wrote: "The non-profit world is gradually engrossing a very significant portion of American economic life, thus increasing the net cost to the rest of us.  What states have approved support for land trust acquisitions?  Has there been good discussion of the long term implication of such control?"


PLEASE  DO  THESE  THREE  THINGS:


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.


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



HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE (Tax 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

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

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

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.  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 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???

#*#*#*#  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!


MAKE  SURE  THIS  E-MAIL  GET  INTO  AS  MANY  HANDS  AS  POSSIBLE!!!




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