Text from the Recreational Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Plan, 2008, Page 7
Establish a more consistent approach for valuing land associated with tax breaks. For example: a wetlands area of high conservation value may be deemed “worthless” for real-estate development and therefore unrecognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as the basis for tax incentive.
Since 2008, the IRS has worked to increase enforcement of 2006 legislation which: 1) increased penalties for fraudulent appraisals of charitable contributions and 2) required accreditation and certification of appraisers.
General Tax Background:
A policy paradigm shift is occurring in the U.S. toward supplementing natural resources conservation expenditure programs with incentives that allow private landowners to retain more of their income in exchange for undertaking conservation projects and practices on their land. There are two primary factors causing this shift. First, the current budget climate is resulting in fluctuating conservation funding at all levels of government and throughout the non-profit community. With the potential to benefit landowners across the economic spectrum, conservation tax incentives are a sound mechanism for creating certainty during times of inconsistent and unpredictable funding trends. Second, growing concerns about uncontrolled exurban sprawl, coupled with greater acceptance of the public benefits of open space and working lands, continues to galvanize support for greater federal investment in private land conservation.