COLT’s weekly land trust news
December 15th, 2015
Tuesday greetings everyone,
Couple of timely policy news bits first off:
It sounds like Congress will present their final tax and spending bills as soon as this evening (Tuesday). The latest intel COLT has learned is that the omnibus spending plan will include a tax bill with a hoped-for package of permanent tax incentives, including the easement incentive. The Land Trust Alliance is telling us this as well, and we are hoping for the best. For a bit more, see this short update from Politico this morning.
Once we know what they actually look like tonight or tomorrow, we’ll let members know. There should be a vote in Congress on Thursday for both the tax bill and omnibus spending plan.
Also, it sounds like a deal to temporarily reauthorize LWCF is also in the works. As Sen. Burr (R-NC), a strong proponent of permanent reauthorization, said today about a temporary extension for LWCF, “I don’t know how long. It will certainly be longer than a year. It won’t be permanent.” He added, “My colleagues ought to know right now I’m going to come back and press them all year long for a permanent reauthorization.”
Back to taxes: on Saturday, December 12th, the Oregon Food Bank organized a press event with Senator Wyden to highlight the tax measured as found in the America Gives More Act, and invited COLT and the Nonprofit Association of Oregon to join with the message. Over the last nine months, our three organizations have worked in partnership to make permanent three tax incentives key to our organizations, including the enhanced easement incentive (see our recent joint op-ed in The Oregonian.)
Having Sen. Wyden at the event was key, as it was the first time he really noted publicly that he supports a permanent solution to the tax extenders. As he said, “I am going to stay at it until those more generous tax right-offs are made permanent.”
After the press event, our organizations were able to site down with the Senator for a more in-depth conversation. We are grateful for Sen. Wyden’s support, and for the strong partnership between COLT, NAO, and OFB. See our blog post for more on the event.
Finally, COLT, the Network of Oregon Watershed Councils, and the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts (collectively known as the Oregon Conservation Partnership) are issuing an RFP to help the three organizations develop a “partnership plan” to identify and utilize our strengths and shared priorities. If you know of any consultants who would be interested in receiving the RFP, please pass it along.
Ok. Now, on to this week’s news and more.
All the very best,