FY17 Budget Funds Conservation Programs
On February 9, 2016, President Obama released his budget for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins on October 1. Below are highlights of the budget proposal related to energy and environmental issues:
- The budget included the president's latest call for permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is administered by the Interior and Agriculture departments, and full funding at $900 million.
- Changes to the funding for wildfire suppression remains an administration priority in the budget. It renews a proposal to change the Wildfire Management Program to provide more predictable funding sources, with 70 percent coming from discretionary spending, including $290 million for the adjustment fund.
- Modify the Conservation Easement Deduction - The proposal would modify the conservation easement deduction in several ways. First, the deduction would be reformed by tightening eligibility standards and definitions of what qualifies as a deduction. Second, compliance measures would be instituted to ensure that the conservation purpose, public benefits, and fair market value of the easement reported to the IRS are accurate. Third, the proposal would require additional reporting of information about contributed conservation easements and their fair market values.