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
Date Written: January 22, 2009
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: Suggested Citation