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Senator Santorum Discusses Land Conservation Tax Deduction Reform at Chester County Roundtable

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Location: West Chester, PA


Senator Santorum Discusses Land Conservation Tax Deduction Reform at Chester County Roundtable

Congressmen Pitts and Gerlach, Chester County Commissioners Join Senator Santorum in Discussion

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, held a roundtable discussion with Congressmen Joe Pitts (R-PA-16) and Jim Gerlach (R-PA-6), several Chester County Commissioners, and other community leaders to discuss the Joint Committee on Taxation proposal to reduce the federal tax deduction for property owners who donate land for conservation.

"I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the important issue of conservation with community leaders in Chester County," said Senator Santorum. "The land conservation tax proposal is a clear denial of benefits for conservation easements encouraging open space and land preservation. We must find a better solution to address fraud and abuse without discouraging legitimate conservation activities."

"This forum is a great opportunity to discuss an issue that could significantly affect the great land preservation efforts already underway through the region. I've been a tremendous supporter and proponent of open space and farm land preservation initiatives that rely on tax credits and grants to be successful," Congressman Jim Gerlach said.

"Chester County is a great place to live. My family built our own home here. This area has a unique quality of life. It has a unique character defined by agriculture, natural beauty, open space, and small towns. Our families have grown up here in this environment. And we know the value of it. We know how important it is to preserve our way of life here in Chester County. This is the heart of what we're here to talk about today," Congressman Joe Pitts said.

In a letter to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Santorum expressed his concern with the Joint Committee of Taxation proposal, "In my state of Pennsylvania, for example, preserving farmland and other land resources is a critical way to encourage smart growth and combat urban sprawl."

Senator Santorum has been a consistent supporter of conservation initiatives, including the Farmland Preservation Program, the revitalization of brownfield sites, and abandoned mine reclamation. Earlier this week, Senator Santorum held a conference call with Pennsylvania State Representatives and members of the land trust community to discuss this important environmental issue.

http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.View&ContentRecord_id=1236&Region_id=0&Issue_id=0&CFID=6802519&CFTOKEN=63480384

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