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Conservation Finance Opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Ernest Cook Senior Vice President The Trust for Public Land Chesapeake Bay Program Forestry Workgroup April 17, 2007. Overview. National Trends in Government Spending State Funding Options Eastern States Context

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Conservation Finance Opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed


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    1. Conservation Finance Opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Ernest Cook Senior Vice President The Trust for Public Land Chesapeake Bay Program Forestry Workgroup April 17, 2007

    2. Overview • National Trends in Government Spending • State Funding Options • Eastern States Context • Strategies to Accelerate Conservation

    3. Federal Funding for Land Conservation • LWCF – Offshore Drilling as Funding Source • National Parks, Forests, Fish and Wildlife, BLM • Grant Programs • Forest Legacy • Farmland Protection Program • Endangered Species • Coastal and Estuarine Program

    4. Federal Conservation Spending 2002-2005

    5. State and Local Ballot Measures

    6. 2006 2002 2003 2004 2005 • 192 measures • 143 measures passed (75%) • $5.5billion created • 133 measures • 99 measures passed (74%) • $1.2 billion created • 219 measures • 164 measures passed (75%) • $4.1 billion created • 140 measures • 111 measures passed (79%) • $1.7 billion created • 180 measures • 134 measures passed (74%) • $6.7 billion created State and Local Ballot Measures 2002 – 2006

    7. Conservation Funds Approved by Year

    8. LandVote Ballot Measures 1998 – 2005

    9. Successful Measures Cons. Funds Approved 100% = 1,348 100% = $36.2 B Who is Creating Funding? Since 1996, Voters Have Approved 1,348 Open Space Ballot Measures, Authorizing $36.2 Billion in Conservation Funding* State 2% County 18% 40% Municipal 77% 36% Special District 23% 3% 2% Analysis of Land Vote data by Peter Szabo for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation *Note: This does not include legislatively authorized spending programs, such as those in Florida, New York, and Maryland, which were not submitted directly to voters

    10. Passage Rates Consistently High Conservation Ballot Measures Pass Nearly 80% of the Time, With Voter Support a Consistent 60% Across All Jurisdictions Success Rates by Jurisdiction Analysis of Land Vote data by Peter Szabo for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Source: LandVote, TPL/LTA, January 4, 2005; Consultant analysis

    11. Conservation Finance Ballot MeasuresNational Trends • Bipartisan -- Red State/Blue State popularity • Not subject to economic fluctuations • Broad support base: environmental and business community • Leading States: NJ, CO, FL, MA

    12. State Funding Options for Land Conservation…

    13. Cigarette Tax (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Easement Purchase Program $1.35/pack generates nearly $800M/yr Farmland program receives $20.485M annual allotment

    14. Real Estate Transfer Tax (Maryland) • Program Open Space (POS) and Rural Legacy Program (RLP) • .05% transfer tax for POS and RLP generates approximately $188M • Overattained revenues from FY06 will add an additional $75M • All transfer tax funds are dedicated to land conservation programs

    15. Sales Tax (New Jersey) • Green Acres and Farmland Preservation Programs • $98M/yr existing sales tax dedication • $3 billion over 30 years • Passed by voters in 1998

    16. Documentary Stamp Tax (Florida) • Florida Forever (FF) Program • 70¢ tax on deeds and 35¢ tax on notes generates approximately $4 billion/yr • $300M/yr is dedicated for FF

    17. Land Preservation Tax Credits (Virginia) • Program capped at $100m/yr • Credit is 40% of the fair market value of the land donation • Between 2000 and 2005 there were $380M in tax credit requests and $134M approved

    18. Deed Recording Surcharge (Massachusetts) • Community Preservation Trust Fund • $20 for deeds, $10 for municipal liens • Generated over $36M in FY06 to provide matching funds to communities who adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA) • To date, 119 of 351 communities have adopted CPA

    19. Lottery Funds (Colorado) • Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) • In FY06, $125.6M was generated through lottery funds • 50% is allocated to GOCO, but is capped at $35M • 40% is allocated for local conservation efforts • 10% is allocated to Colorado’s Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation

    20. Oil and Gas Royalties (Michigan) • Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Act • Capped at $500m • In FY06, the fund received $57.4m in oil and gas royalties • Approx. $25-$35M are spent each year (75% acquisition, 25% development projects)

    21. Water Supplier Fees (Rhode Island) • Public Drinking Water Protection Act • 2.92¢ per 100 gallons water supplier levy generates about $9M/yr • 1.054¢ is deposited into the Watershed Protection Fund for watershed protection and water quality projects. • This “penny per hundred” is about $3.6M/yr and used to support revenue bonds

    22. Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (Ohio) • Funds from the federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund • Combines wastewater treatment and water source restoration projects • Communities enter into an agreement with a conservation partner (land trust) • Communities borrow money to facilitate the restoration project and receive a reduced interest rate

    23. 2007 Proposed Bottle Bill (New York) • No increase in deposit • Expansion of deposits to include non-carbonated beverages • Requires unclaimed deposits of approx. $140M to be returned to the state • In total, $180M would be deposited into the Environmental Protection Fund for land conservation.

    24. Ecosystem Enhancement Program (North Carolina) • Established in 2003 using NCDOT mitigation funds from the federal government. • Identifies regions of environmental impact to protect water quality and habitat • Preservation component administered by Conservation Trust for NC • Approx. $100M available annually • Over 35,000 acres protected

    25. Landfill Tipping Fees (Pennsylvania) • Environmental Stewardship Fund • In 2002, tipping fee increased by $4.25/ton • Increase generated approx. $80M in FY06 • Total tipping fee of $7.25/ton generates about $140M • $4.25 fee increase will expire in 2012

    26. TPL’s Conservation Almanac

    27. Conservation Almanac: Why? • Create a Definitive Source of Conservation Information • Inform the Development of State and Local Policies in Support of Land Conservation • Critical Background Information for Elected Officials Policymakers, the Media, Citizen Activists, and Researchers.

    28. Comprehensive State By State Analysis

    29. Questions Addressed • “What are other places doing to achieve their conservation goals?” • “Are there any benchmarks to inform our work?” • “What policies and programs might help us make progress in reaching our conservation objectives?”

    30. Components of the Almanac • State Conservation Achievements • Profile of State Programs and Funding Mechanisms • State Policy Framework • LandVote™ Data • Federal Funding Analysis

    31. The Data • Baseline Data • How Many Total Acres are Under State Ownership • Land Acquisition Data- 1998-2005 • Acres Acquired (fee vs. easement) • Dollars Spent Annually

    32. Conservation Almanac data file

    33. State Dollars and Acres for Conservation: 1998-2005

    34. Conservation Acres by State: 1998-2005

    35. Strategies to Accelerate Conservation for Chesapeake Bay States • Capitalize on public support for water quality • “Funding quilt” • Increase federal spending • Increase sources & amounts of state funding • Harness local government potential • Explore creative finance options

    36. Strategies to Accelerate Conservation for Chesapeake Bay States • Capitalize on public support for water quality

    37. April 2004 National Poll:Top Goals for Land Conservation Ranked “very important”: • 84% Protect drinking water quality • 75% Improve water quality in lakes, rivers and streams • 70% Protect quality of life • 63% Protect working farms and ranches • 62% Protect natural areas Poll of 1,500 registered voters surveyed April 3 to 12, 2004, by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R) for the Trust for Public Land and the Nature Conservancy

    38. Voter Support for Conservation Purposes

    39. Strategies to Accelerate Conservation for Chesapeake Bay States • Extend the “funding quilt” • All levels of government • Varied sources of funding • Leverage • Matching Funds • Loans

    40. Strategies to Accelerate Conservation for Chesapeake Bay States • Increase federal spending • Expand authorized acquisition areas • Line up compelling opportunities for appropriations • New $50M grant program for community forests proposed

    41. Strategies to Accelerate Conservation for Chesapeake Bay States • Increase sources and amounts of state spending • Dedicated revenues • Tax credits in MD, PA ? • Tipping fees in VA ? • Thinking BIG: • Florida $1 billion per year? • Minnesota 3/8 cent sales tax?

    42. Strategies to Accelerate Conservation for Chesapeake Bay States • Harness local government potential

    43. April 2004 National Poll Reveals Strong Support for Land Conservation • 65% of U.S. voters would support small increase in taxes to fund state or local government programs to purchase land to “protect water quality, natural areas, lakes, rivers or beaches, neighborhood parks and wildlife habitat” • 56% would pay $50 more per year in taxes • 60% would pay $25 more per year in taxes

    44. Scale of Local Conservation Finance:Local Ballot Measures

    45. LandVote Ballot Measures 1998 – 2005

    46. New Jersey Leadership in Ballot Measures • All 21 of 21 Counties have created a special dedicated fund for land conservation • Nearly 200 Municipalities have adopted a property tax increase for open space • Total local government tax collections exceed $200 million per year • In 1998, voters approved a Statewide measure to dedicate $98M in sales taxes per year to the Garden State Preservation Trust

    47. The New Jersey Model 1. Local governments have the authority to establish a dedicated fund for open space using the property tax, enacted in 1987; 2. The State makes a substantial and reliable annual investment, providing matching funds that are a compelling incentive for local governments to tax themselves for land conservation; and 3. New Jersey presents its spending proposals for land conservation at all levels of government to its voters, and this has created a political culture that supports public investments in land conservation funds.

    48. New Jersey County Measures 1987-1989

    49. New Jersey County Measures 1990-1994