April 26, 2005
The Honorable John Warner
United States Senate
225 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
RE: Charitable Deductions for Contributions of Conservation and Fašade Easements (sec.170)
Dear Senator Warner,
The Albemarle County Historic Preservation Committee is strongly opposed to the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Taxation addressing Charitable Deductions for Contributions of Conservation and Fašade Easements (sec.170).
Current tax incentives for placing land in conservation easements have been a great boost to land conservation in Albemarle County. Tax incentives were instrumental in acquiring the 49,000 acres of land that are now under easement in Albemarle. Tax incentives are the most cost effective way of preserving land. The land can continue in private ownership, and it can continue to be used for farming or any other productive use.
We do believe that the organizations that hold our conservation easements must be held to the highest standards to ensure that land is fairly valued when put under easement. We would support changes in the law that would ensure that these high standards are met.
You know the value of conserving land in Virginia; it generates and strengthens tourism, which is a strong factor in our economy. Conservation easements can benefit all our citizens.
You have been good to Virginia. Please help us continue to save our land.
Sara Lee Barnes, Chairperson
for the Albemarle County Historic Preservation Committee
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