COALITION: No Land Trust Tax Deal!
News release from Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
A broad coalition of 34 interest groups representing religious schools
and churches, taxpayer advocates and property rights organizations
have united in support of the House (HR 7) and against the Senate
(S 476) version of the "Faith Based Initiative."
The group has signed a letter to the House and Senate committee chairmen
with jurisdiction over the legislation, objecting to a favored status
that would be granted to land trusts in the Senate version of the
bill. It reads in part:
"The Senate proposal would provide a capital gains tax reduction
of 25% to sellers of land or water rights - but only if they sell
to a land trust or a
government agency . . . It will do virtually nothing to benefit sellers
land, since land trusts will be able to reduce their offering price
any other potential buyer of property . . . This proposal would place
faith-based institutions, such as churches, orphanages and private
schools, at a comparative disadvantage in property purchases compared
to land trusts and government agencies, neither of which are faith
The additional cost of the Senate provision is approximately $500
The Land Trust Alliance is pushing for a 50% reduction, costing nearly
Signers include the National Tax Limitation Committee, the American
Conservative Union, the American Association of Christian Schools,
American Land Rights Association and 30 others.
Separately, the Association of Christian Schools International, joined
the National Association of Evangelicals and 18 others, signed a similar
letter objecting to the "glaring inequity in the Senate version."
Congress to support "charitable choice" as long as there
is a "level playing field" for all charitable groups "rather
than a special benefit bill for
"Votes on this bill will be scored on our annual vote index,"
Susan Kocsis of the League of Private Property Voters, which has published
its annual scorecard of Congress since 1989.
RECOMMENDED ACTION ITEM from ALRA:
Congressman Steve Pearce is circulating a letter to all members of
Congress, asking them to sign it - it says that there should be NO
handouts to Land Trusts!!!
CONTACT your Congressional office - tell them to "Sign Congressman
Steve Pearce's letter on HR 7 - NO SPECIAL DEALS FOR LAND TRUSTS !!!"
You can call every Congressman at (202) 225-3121. Or use this temporary
free number : (800) 648-3516.
Here is the letter to the Senate and House Committee Chairmen:
October 20, 2003
Honorable William Thomas
Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means
1102 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Honorable Charles Grassley
Chairman, Committee on Finance
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
In the upcoming conference committee on the faith based initiative,
you to support the House of Representatives position (HR 7) which
no special provisions for land trusts. We ask you to strongly oppose
Senate version (S 476) which would hand over to land trusts a new
powerful advantage over other non-profits and the private sector.
The Senate proposal would provide a capital gains tax reduction of
sellers of land or water rights - but only if they sell to a land
trust or a
government agency. Land trusts are pushing for a 50% break, the cost
which to the treasury is scored by the Joint Committee on Taxation
under a billion dollars over ten years.
We oppose this Land Trust Tax Favoritism for numerous reasons:
It will do virtually nothing to benefit sellers of land, since land
will be able to reduce their offering price versus any other potential
of property. Any tax break benefit will be handed over to land trusts
the form of a reduced sale price. Even worse, this proposal will likely
discourage purchase offers from any parties except land trusts and
government agencies, since all others will have to offer a premium
just to stay even. With reduced competition for property, the landowner
It will damage the economic and property tax base of many small and
communities, in particular those already hosting significant public
It is our belief that the Charitable Giving Act is intended to encourage
and benefit faith-based institutions in their efforts to extend social
services to the general public. And yet incredibly, this proposal
place those very faith-based institutions, such as churches, orphanages
private schools, at a comparative disadvantage in property purchases
compared to land trusts and government agencies, neither of which
Land trusts, which are organized as tax-exempt "non-profits,"
significant advantages over private parties in the tax code. Some,
the Nature Conservancy (assets $3.2 billion, annual budget $740 million)
have grown into multibillion dollar multinational corporations with
power greater than nearly any party they may compete against for property.
This additional proposed advantage tilts the playing field too far
of land trusts and government agencies.
This will have a negative impact on the federal budget both in terms
the tax expenditure involved and additional maintenance backlog due
adding to the federal land inventory.
There are no reforms or additional accountability being asked of land
trusts or government agencies in exchange for this substantial new
For example, land trusts have resisted attempts to prohibit the practice
"flipping," or purchasing and quickly reselling, land to
at a substantial profit.
We ask you to keep this legislation focused on faith based institutions.
It is inappropriate, costly and unnecessary to offer additional benefits
land trusts in this bill.
Charles Cushman, Executive Director Paul M. Weyrich, National Chairman
American Land Rights Association Coalitions for America
Battle Ground, WA Washington, DC
Grover Norquist, President David A. Keene, Chairman
Americans for Tax Reform American Conservative Union
Washington, DC Alexandria, VA
John C. Holmes, Dir. of Govt. Aff. Susan Kocsis, Legislative Chairman
Association of Christian Schools Intl. League of Private Property
Silver Spring, MD Tustin, CA
Lewis Uhler, President Dr. Keith Weibe, President
National Tax Limitation Committee American Association of Christian
Roseville, CA Chattanooga, TN
Lawrence Cirignano, Executive Director Carol LaGrasse, President
Catholic Alliance Property Rights Foundation of America
Washington, DC Stony Creek, NY
Myron Ebell, Dir. Intl. Environ. Studies James Martin, President
Competitive Enterprise Institute 60 Plus Association
Washington, DC Arlington, VA
C. Preston Noell, III, President Rose Correira, President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc. Alliance for America
McLean, VA Quincy, CA
Tom DeWeese, President Henry Lamb, Exec. Vice Pres.
American Policy Center Environmental Conservation Organization
Warrenton, VA Hollow Rock, TN
Dan Clifton, Executive Director Donald Fife, President
American Shareholder Association National Assn. of Mining Districts
Washington, DC Apple Valley, CA
Kevin L. Kearns, President G B Oliver, Executive Director
U S Business and Industry Council Paragon Foundation
Washington, DC Alamorgordo, NM
Ron Pearson, President Patricia Callahan, President
Council for America Amer. Assn. of Small Property Owners
Washington, DC Washington, DC
Tom Randall, President Dan Byfield, President
Winningreen, LLC American Land Foundation
Chicago, IL Austin, TX
Harry Valentine Dick Welsh, President
Capitol Hill Prayer Alert Natl. Assn. of Reversionary Prop. Owners
Washington, DC Rancho Mirage, CA
Dr. Vernon Hayes Marty McElhaney
Forest Landowners Association Liberty Matters, Inc.
Atlanta, GA Taylor, TX
Matt Bennett, President Dorothy Bartholomew, President
Treekeepers, Inc. People for the USA
Maryville, TN Lander, WY
Dick Patton, Executive Dir. Howard Hutchinson, Exec. Dir.
American Family Business Inst. Coalition of Arizona/NM Counties
Washington, DC Glenwood, NM
Bob Bowman, President Jon Reisman
Freedom Matters Maine Public Policy Institute
Madison, WI Cooper, ME
Land Rights Network
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