Department of Planning & Landscape Architecture next lecture in its Fall 2017 Lecture Series features Dominic Parker on December 8 in Old Music Hall from 12:00pm-1:15pm. Dominic Parker is an Assistant Professor in AGR. & Appl. Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The topic for this lecture is Tax Incentives for Conservation Easements and Their Effects. Feel free to bring your lunch!
The talk is based upon the paper co-written by Dominic Parker and Walter N. Thurman called Tax Incentives and the Price of Conservation. The abstract of their paper includes:
Abstract: We study the role of tax incentives in promoting a fast growing and novel type of conservation: voluntary, permanent restrictions on private land use through conservation easement. Originating in the US but expanding internationally, easements are a leading example of decentralized conservation. In the US, easements represent the largest charitable gift on a per-donation basis, but skeptics wonder if their tax preference merely subsidizes wealthy landowners rather than inducing conservation. We incorporate federal and state income tax codes into a calculator to quantify the after-tax donation price and demonstrate its sensitivity to landowner income and state and federal policies. Using a 1987-2012 panel, we measure the response of state-level easements to the price. Our large elasticity estimates, spanning -2.4 to -6.1, indicate that tax incentives induce conservation and do not merely subsidize it. We find no evidence that generous tax benefits have caused less strategic patterns of land conservation.