ALERT- WE NEED YOUR HELP on Conservation Land Tax Credit Amendment
We need all hands on deck! We need each and every member to call your Representatives. And please consider asking your board members and staff to call and to share this Alert on social media. There is a ton of competition and the grassroots calls will create a buzz!
Please contact your Massachusetts State Representative IMMEDIATELY and ask him/her to cosponsor and support House budget amendment 381 (Representative Cariddi) which would increase the annual cap for the Conservation Land Tax Credit (CLTC) program.
All it takes is a quick call to their office (under five minutes) and/or an email. Calls are preferable over email because many offices will be flooded with emails from other advocates. Contact information for your legislator (searchable by municipality) can be found here. Below is a sample call “script” and email that you can send to your State Representative (feel free to augment it with the additional information below).
Dear Representative ________: As part of a [land conservation organization] in your district, I am contacting you to ask you to co-sponsor and support the amendment 381 to the House budget for the Conservation Land Tax Credit program filed by Representative Cariddi. The amendment would increase the annual cap to eliminate the backlog of this successful program and enable our organization to collaborate with private landowners to conserve land for farming, forestry, wildlife and clean water.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. Your Name and Org/Group [Give your home address or org address, whichever is in their district]
This amendment would:
· Raise the annual cap of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Conservation Land Tax Credit (CLTC) Program from $2 million to $10 million per year -- a combined total of credits for individuals and corporations. (Please note: There is currently a $6 million backlog and many landowners cannot afford to wait until 2020).
· Amend the definition of "public or private conservation agency" which may receive donations of land subject to a conservation tax credit to include realty trusts organized for conservation purposes pursuant to Chapter 203. (Please note: more than a third of land trusts in Massachusetts are organized as realty trusts).
· Provide a ten-year sunset.
The CLTC program has protected over 10,000 acres of land by allowing taxpayers (individuals and corporations) a refundable conservation land tax credit for qualified donations of certified ecologically valuable land (farming, forestry, wildlife protection and/or water quality) to a public or private conservation agency. Landowners applying today to donate their land must wait until calendar year 2020 to receive the credit. Many landowners cannot wait this long as they have financial needs. And the CLTC gets out of sync with other land protection programs which hinders leveraging among programs.
House budget debate begins the week of April 24th, so the sooner you can make your call the more momentum we can build for the amendment. Please act today - many voices will have a huge impact.
Mass Land Trust Coalition
18 Wolbach Road
Sudbury, MA 01776