Thursday, February 03, 2005

Fayetteville Online Story - Blunt Instrument

Fayetteville Online Story - Blunt Instrument: "Blunt Instrument
True reform makes things work better
You're a merchant, and someone's been pilfering your stock. In fact, your losses average an alarming 10 percent. Do you (A) slash your inventory 10 percent or (B) fire the staff and close the store?
If it occurs to you that you weren't given a crack at the right answer (find the thief and get rid of him), then you may have a future in business - and a burning curiosity about the news that a congressional committee wants to 'reform' a conservation device by smashing it.
This is a case of intellectual laziness that could have repercussions for Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, for Revolutionary War sites and for wetlands and other extraordinary natural assets.
The Joint Committee on Taxation cites widespread abuse, some blatant and well-documented and some conjectural, of a program that gives big tax breaks to homeowners who donate conservation easements to nonprofits.
The proposal, which the committee estimates would eventually save $1 billion, 'eliminates the need to assess valuation, conservation benefits, and private benefits with respect to a large group of transactions that often provide questionable or limited public benefits.'

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