Thursday, January 8, 2009

GOP-Backed Proposal Closer to Becoming Law

A GOP-backed proposal establishing incentives for donating conservation land in Massachusetts is on Governor Patrick’s desk awaiting his signature.

The plan, offered an amendment will create a state program to provide an added incentive for prospective land donors.

Currently, when landowners donate open-space land they become eligible for a federal income tax credit. However, there are several costs, such as attorney’s fees and appraisal costs that can discourage donors.

The taxpayer would receive a tax credit equal to 50 percent of the appraised fair market value of the land. The credit is capped at $50,000 for each landowner and a statewide total of $2 million annually.

Lora Wondolowski, Executive Director of the Mass League of Environmental Voters says, "this bill was a top priority for the Mass Green Agenda, and we are very pleased to see the state embrace commonsense measures to protect land that save the state money in the long term. We urge Governor Patrick to sign this bill into law."

Once the Governor has signed this legislation into law, it will go into effect in 2011.