Conservation easements grant write-offs to multiple partners, each buying a share in a tract of land. This is a way the very rich avoid paying their fair share of tax, saving $2 in taxes for every $1 paid for the tax shelter, according to a Senate report. It costs about $10.6 billion of tax revenue every year, revenue lost to the public purse. All the investors have to do is promise not to develop the already-protected land, which is usually in remote and sparsely populated spots.
My comment: The good news is that this tax avoidance scam is attracting the attention of of the IRS and lawmakers. However, reflect on the unhealthy relationship between the very rich and the aforesaid lawmakers. (Anyone like a bet with me as to whether these write-offs and other similar schemes are finally made illegal by Congress? Not the remotest chance. Ed.)
My take: Armies of accountants are employed finding apparently legal scams for rich people anxious to avoid tax. This is all part of the egregious inequality in the US, an inequality that has helped get us into the present political and social crisis.