10th Circuit Disallows Conservation Easement Deduction Where Mortgage Not Subordinated at Time of Donation

Earlier this week, the Tenth Circuit issued its opinion in Mitchell v. CIR, 2015 WL 64927 (10th Cir. 2015), affirming the Tax Court’s denial of the taxpayers’ (Charles and Ramona Mitchell) charitable contribution deduction for their donation of a conservation easement on real property that was, at the time of the donation, subject to an unsubordinated mortgage (held by Mr. Sheek). The court explained:

In sum, we conclude the regulations do not permit a charitable contribution deduction unless any existing mortgage on the donated property has been subordinated, irrespective of the likelihood of foreclosure. Therefore, the Tax Court correctly held the Commissioner was entitled to disallow the Mitchells’ charitable contribution deduction because Mr. Sheek’s mortgage encumbering the Lone Canyon Ranch was not timely subordinated.

Check out Jessica Owley’s post on the Land Use Law Prof blog for further discussion of the opinion.

Environmental Law Collaborative’s Response to the IPCC Fifth Assessment

Environmental Law Reporter announced this week that its January 2015 issue of News & Analysis includes a collaborative piece by several leading environmental law professors–including Touro Law Prof and Land Use & Sustainable Development Law Institute Director Sarah Adams-Schoen.

A Response to the IPCC Fifth Assessment

45 ELR 10027 (2015)
by Sarah J. Adams-Schoen, Deepa Badrinarayana, Cinnamon Carlarne, Robin Kundis Craig, John C. Dernbach, Keith H. Hirokawa, Alexandra B. Klass, Katrina Fischer Kuh, Stephen R. Miller, Jessica Owley, Shannon Roesler, Jonathan Rosenbloom, Inara Scott, and David Takacs
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report presented significant data and findings about climate change. But the IPCC’s working groups’ summaries for policymakers avoid making normative statements about the IPCC’s findings. The authors, members of the Environmental Law Collaborative, bridge this gap by identifying the normative claims that stem from the working groups’ summaries to spark deeper discussion and help shape the IPCC’s sixth assessment.
You can read the abstract on ELR (and the entire article if you’re an ELR subscriber). Or, on SSRN, you can read the article and find other articles by the authors. According to the ELR website, ELR is “the most-often cited analysis of environmental, sustainability, natural resources, energy, toxic tort, and land use law and policy.”

Touro Law Professors’ Land Use Law Scholarship Features in Top 50 List

Land Use Law Prof blog’s The Top 50 land use law articles of 2014 features 5 articles by Touro Law professors, including the #1 article:

It’s a ‘Criming Shame’: Moving from Land Use Ethics to Criminalization of Behavior Leading to Permits and Other Zoning Related Acts 
46 Urb. Law. 249 (2014), Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper Series
Patricia Salkin and Bailey Ince 

The list is a compilation of the top 50 downloaded land use law articles on SSRN based on a simple search using the term “land use.” Other Touro Law prof articles featured on the list are:

Still an Issue: The Taking Issue at 40 
30 Touro L. Rev. 245 (2014), Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper
Patricia Salkin 

Land Use Regulation: It Just Gets Worse 
2 U. Balt. J. Land & Dev. 1 (2012), Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper Series
Michael Lewyn 

Zoning and Land Use Planning: Plans are Not Enough 
42 Real Estate L.J. 240 (2013), Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 14-37
Michael Lewyn 

Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation: A Local Solution to a Global Problem 
Municipal Lawyer, Winter 2014, Vol. 28, No. 1, Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper
Sarah Adams-Schoen 

Check out the other 45 articles here, and more Land Use Law Prof blog posts by Stephen R. Miller here.