Catholic University law school Professor Roger Colinvaux was an invited panelist for a conference, “Perpetual Conservation Easements: What Have We Learned and Where Should We Go from Here?” hosted on Feb. 15 by The Wallace Stegner Center at the University of Utah SJ Quinney College of Law.
Colinvaux, a nationally recognized expert on tax matters relating to nonprofit organizations, discussed possible reforms to the federal tax incentive for conservation easements.
The public invests billions of dollars in conservation easements, which now protect more than 18 million acres throughout the United States. But uncertainties in the law and abusive practices threaten to undermine public confidence in and the effectiveness of conservation easements as land protection tools.
Panelists addressed the goal of helping to ensure that conservation easements actually provide the promised benefits to the public over the long term.
Colinvaux and two fellow experts on his panel discussed the federal tax incentives offered with respect to easements donated as charitable gifts to certain qualified holders.
Prior to joining the faculty of CUA Law, Colinvaux served as legislation counsel with the Joint Committee on Taxation and played an important role in the charitable giving and reform provisions in the Pension Protection Act of 2006, some of which are discussed in his article, "The Conservation Easement Tax Expenditure: In Search of Conservation Value."