Cash or Credit? Tax Credits and Conservation Outcomes

Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 2009 64(1):22A-26A; doi:10.2489/jswc.64.1.22A

5 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2016 Last revised: 15 Mar 2016

See all articles by Cynthia Nickerson

Cynthia Nickerson

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Roger Claassen

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Ron Durst

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

LeRoy Hansen

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Daniel Hellerstein

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS), Resource and Rural Economics Division

Date Written: January 22, 2009

Abstract

The use of tax policy to encourage conservation of agricultural and environmental resources is not a new idea but gained increased attention in the recently concluded farm bill debate. A new tax deduction is established for taxpayers who take voluntary measures to aid in the recovery of species that are either listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) or deemed by the Secretary of Interior or Commerce to be in need of protection under the ESA (“qualified species”). The farm bill also exempts retired and disabled individuals from self-employment taxes (the employer and employee shares of Social Security and Medicare taxes) on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments. In addition, it extended for two years the special rule encouraging contributions of conservation easements. The Congressional Joint Tax Committee estimates that these three provisions, collectively, will reduce tax revenues by $1.366 billion over 2008 to 2017.

Keywords: tax policy, conservation, tax credits

JEL Classification: Q18, Q28

Suggested Citation

Nickerson, Cynthia and Claassen, Roger and Durst, Ron and Hansen, LeRoy Thomas and Hellerstein, Daniel, Cash or Credit? Tax Credits and Conservation Outcomes (January 22, 2009). Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 2009 64(1):22A-26A; doi:10.2489/jswc.64.1.22A. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2736606

Cynthia Nickerson (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5626 (Phone)

Roger Claassen

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5473 (Phone)

Ron Durst

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States

LeRoy Thomas Hansen

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E St., SW
Washington, DC 20036-5831
United States
202-694-5612 (Phone)

Daniel Hellerstein

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS), Resource and Rural Economics Division ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5613 (Phone)
202-694-5756 (Fax)

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