Faith-Based Initiative legislation heading through Congress is nothing more than a LAND GRAB by such as the Nature Conservancy

February 7, 2003

Senate Bill 256, Sections 106 and 107

Terrible legislation: tax favoritism for the Nature Conservancy and other land trusts!

Here is the first bill out of the chute that is moving in the 108th Congress that impacts private property rights.

It has ALREADY been approved by the Senate Finance Committee, on February 5!

It is a 25% tax cut on capital gains of land sales -- but only if the land is sold to an environmental group or to a government agency!

Private parties, or non-environmentalist charities such as churches and orphanages are left in the dust -- can take a hike!

This would hand over to the Nature Conservancy and other already wealthy land trusts, a nearly insurmountable advantage of up to 25% when competing with private purchasers for property.

It would be devastating to family businesses attempting to keep property in private hands through sale to relatives.

It will take more land off the tax rolls, damaging the tax base of rural communities in public lands dominated regions of the country.

And this proposed tax advantage does not apply to churches, orphanages or other nonprofit charities when purchasing land!

ONLY land trusts and government agencies get this 'perk!'

Worst of all -- even though it is technically a tax break for the SELLER of the land -- all it will benefit is the BUYER, if the buyer is a land trust!

Here is why: the land trusts can and will reduce their offers for land purchase.

They will have up to a 25% advantage when bidding versus private parties, because of the tax benefit to the seller.

So the seller will get a smaller sale price, reducing his tax benefit, while the land trust spends less money.

AND that is assuming that there is even a private bidder, once the Big Green Machine has worked over the landowner with threats from the Endangered Species Act and other laws.

Incredibly, this is part of the Faith-Based Initiative legislation heading through Congress.

So, a bill designed to help charities to help people has quietly had this provision tacked onto it by multibillion dollar land trusts for their own selfish benefit!

Of course, this has been done with NO PUBLIC HEARINGS.

The land trusts prefer to work in the dark, behind closed doors.

Action Item: Shine the light on this attack on private property rights, and this hijacking of the Faith Based Initiative. S.256, Sections 106 and 107 -- "The CARE Act of 2003" -- the entire bill deals with a variety of tax deductions, it is Sections 106 and 107 of S.256 which has the free hand out for the Nature Conservancy.

TELL your Senator and Congressmen to take out Sections 106 and 107 from S.256! Defend private property rights -- land trusts should not get special tax breaks that churches and orphanages do not get in the "Faith Based Initiative!"