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You Can’t Give It Away: Tax Aspects of Ecologically Sensitive Lands

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  Prepared by Marc Denhez and published by the Canadian Wetlands Conservation Task Force, the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada) and the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy

Conservationists have an uphill trail to navigate to be able to hang onto existing – and secure additional – lands and waters across this country; lands and waters that protect both our wild vistas and the earth’s biodiversity. In the toolbox of institutional arrangements to achieve conservation on private lands, tax legislation and tax regulation have neither been analyzed nor used to the extent that they should have been. This paper addresses how the Income Tax Act (Canada) and the property tax systems in place in each province and territory affect thesetting aside of ecologically significant lands for conservation purposes.