Gazette: “New law offers tax credits for preservation”

Today’s Gazette reports on a new incentive for land preservation:

Saving the land
New law offers tax credits for preservation

…A new law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick [creates] a state income tax credit for landowners who voluntarily donate property to their local community, the state or a nonprofit conservation group.

The land must meet certain criteria, from protecting drinking water or providing a habitat for wildlife to offering scenic vistas or helping support tourism and agriculture. The landowners must agree to permanently protect the land from development in exchange for the tax credit valued at half the appraised value of the land.

Individual credits are capped at $50,000…

Gov. Patrick has vowed to invest at least $50 million annually over the next five years in land conservation…

See also:

State Offers Funds to Help Conserve North Street Woods

Here is the relevant portion of “An Act Providing for the Preservation and Improvement of Land, Parks, and Clean Energy in the Commonwealth”, as signed by Governor Deval Patrick on August 14, 2008:

2000-7015 …provided further, that not less than $100,000
be expended for the acquisition of wooded land to be used for
conservation and passive recreation in the North Street neighborhood of
the city of Northampton, provided that the abutters of said property
provide matching funds for said acquisition…

MA Secy of Energy and Environmental Affairs: Urban Parks Deserve Protection as do Habitat Reserves and Working Landscapes
[Ian Bowles:] We need smart land conservation along with smart growth. That’s why,
going forward, the commonwealth is going to concentrate its land
protection efforts on three priorities, which complement the
administration’s smart-growth goals:

  • Urban Parks: For smart growth to succeed, urban life needs to be
    attractive. From a land perspective, the best thing we can do to
    improve urban living is to make sure there are beautiful parks within
    walking distance of every urban dweller. So we plan to create visionary
    urban parks in 10 to 15 cities in neighborhoods that don’t have them,
    and to significantly [improve] parks in all 51 Massachusetts cities
    over the next four years…

Boston Globe: “How the city hurts your brain”
A city is so overstuffed with stimuli that we need to constantly
redirect our attention so that we aren’t distracted by irrelevant
things, like a flashing neon sign…

Natural settings, in contrast, don’t require the same amount of cognitive effort…

Natural settings are full of objects that automatically capture our
attention, yet without triggering a negative emotional response —
unlike, say, a backfiring car. The mental machinery that directs
attention can relax deeply, replenishing itself…

CommonWealth Magazine: “Urban greenery can bring better health, more attractive neighborhoods, and even safer streets”
Topographical Map Shows How Kohl Condo Proposal Will Eat Into a Rare Stand of Mature Trees in Downtown

Photo Essay: Our Woods in Winter