In an effort to create parity in the Federal Tax Code for Alaska Native Corporations (ANC) voluntarily putting parts of their land holdings into permanent conservation easements, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today introduced legislation extending the current tax credit for those easements.
Sen. Begich introduced The Alaska Native Conservation Parity Act of 2009, along with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young.
"This legislation is long overdue in creating a level playing field for ANCs under the tax code, and important to encourage ANCs to protect land used for shareholder activities while still enabling appropriate resource development on tribal lands," Begich said. "Alaska Native Corporations were given a strong mandate to both develop the resources of their lands as well as protecting the land for future generations. This law will help achieve that goal."
Current law allows private landowners to receive a tax credit for land dedicated to conservation. The 2008 Farm Bill extended the credit and clarified that farmers and ranchers, who are treated as non-publically traded corporations, are able to receive a tax credit of 100 percent tax deduction for qualified donations.
The Alaska Native Conservation Parity Act of 2009, if enacted, would extend the current tax credit to conservation easements created by ANCs. ANCs have been left out of prior amendments to the tax code's conservation easement provisions.
Begich added the legislation will help to encourage the kind of multiple uses called for in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), and grant to ANCs' shareholders the same benefits allowed to non-native landowners across the country.
Alaska Native Corporations under ANCSA were mandated to become C corporations but as the law is currently structured, ANCs are not able to receive the tax credit generally available to other landowners. This tax credit would allow ANCs to enjoy the same tax benefits as other Americans, while protecting land their shareholders use for subsistence activities or for other purposes.