ELP has published a paper by alumna Richelle Thomson (Class of 2007) on state conservation tax credits as part of its “He Mau Mo‘olelo Kanawai o ka ‘Aina” (Stories of the Law of the Land) series of excellent student scholarship. To read the paper, click here. Richelle’s paper surveys twelve states’ efforts to encourage private land conservation through income tax credits for donations of property interests. She also discusses Hawai‘i’s passage, in 2008, of a conservation tax credit bill, which was vetoed by the Governor. Hawai‘i’s legislature is likely to take up the issue again in the future, and Richelle’s paper will be a useful reference for landowners, policymakers, and other interested stakeholders working on this important issue.
Richelle attributes her interest in this topic to an innovative ELP course focused on land conservation transactions, first taught in 2007 by adjuncts Melinda Ching (The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i) and Jean Campbell (Carlsmith Ball LLP), which inspired Richelle to wonder why Hawai‘i had not yet adopted a conservation tax credit law. With the support of an ELP Travel Grant, Richelle attended the national Land Trust Alliance (LTA) Rally in Wisconsin, further sparking her interest in this issue. Richelle lives and works on Maui with Ivey Fosbinder Fosbinder LLC, where she specializes in property law, estate planning, taxation, and environmental law.