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DU Helps See Pensions Bill Through

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Conservation Scores Big

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2006 – President Bush today signed into law the Pension Protection Act, which included an expanded tax incentives provision benefiting landowners donating conservation easements. Ducks Unlimited’s governmental affairs office in Washington worked hard for four years with the administration, Congress and partners to shepherd this legislation into law.

“Congress and President Bush have just done a very good thing for conservation in America,” said DU Executive Vice President Don Young. “The pension bill not only provides great new conservation tax incentives for private landowners through conservation easements, but it also allows older Americans a tax free opportunity to donate some of their IRA funds to charitable organizations like Ducks Unlimited. The tax provisions included in the bill will greatly help Ducks Unlimited achieve our mission of wetlands conservation and putting more ducks in the sky.”

Young was invited to and attended the president’s signing ceremony today.

Pictured left to right:  DU Executive Vice President Don Young, Senator Blanche Lincoln (AR), Mary Pope Hudson of Land Trust Alliance and House Majority Leader John Boehner (OH) attended the bill signing with President Bush.

The new tax provisions extend a period on tax deductions for voluntary conservation agreements from five to 15 years, and raise the cap on those deductions from 30 percent of the donor’s adjusted gross income to 50 percent.

The news is even better for qualifying farmers and ranchers. Their deduction jumps from 30 percent of adjusted gross income to 100 percent.

DU Director of Public Policy Vaughn Collins says the higher tax advantage provision for farmers and ranchers is a critically important component in the new law.

“DU and a strong coalition of other sporting and conservation organizations worked hard to make sure farmers and ranchers, who own much of the valuable wetlands and wildlife habitat in this country, now have the economic incentives necessary to conserve this land,” Collins said. “Now, farmers and ranchers, along with other modest-income landowners, get a much larger benefit for protecting their land from development. This is a big win for hunters and fish and wildlife.”

These new tax provisions are available to landowners only through Dec. 31, 2007. Collins says DU’s governmental affairs office is already working on making them a permanent part of the Internal Revenue Service’s tax code.

Contact: Gregg Patterson
Director of Communications
901-758-3937
gpatterson@ducks.org

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature’s most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.

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