The conservation of Texas’ wide open spaces, historic ranch and farm lands, and natural resources got a boost with the renewal of the enhanced tax incentivefor conservation easements in the bill passed last night. The enhanced tax incentive makes the donated conservation easement feasible for many more of Texas’ ranchers and farmers who want to protect their lands, and in particular for those who make their living from agriculture.
It also appears that the Estate Tax will retain its current $5 million exclusion, which helps families trying to pass land down from one generation to the next. The federal Farm & Ranch Protection Program, through which landowners can sell a conservation easement, has been extended through September 30 when Congress must renegotiate the new Farm Bill. And finally, good news for all non-profits: Thecharitable deduction was left largely intactfor now, but with limits for higher-income donors.