Tax shifting and incentives for biodiversity conservation on private lands

Schuster, Richard, Law, Elizabeth A., Rodewald, Amanda D., Martin, Tara G., Wilson, Kerrie A., Watts, Matthew, Possingham, Hugh P. and Arcese, Peter (2017) Tax shifting and incentives for biodiversity conservation on private lands. Conservation Letters, . doi:10.1111/conl.12377

Author Schuster, Richard
Law, Elizabeth A.
Rodewald, Amanda D.
Martin, Tara G.
Wilson, Kerrie A.
Watts, Matthew
Possingham, Hugh P.
Arcese, Peter
Title Tax shifting and incentives for biodiversity conservation on private lands
Journal name Conservation Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1755-263X
Publication date 2017-07-26
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/conl.12377
Open Access Status DOI
Total pages 7
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Conservation in human-dominated landscapes is challenging partly due to the high costs of land acquisition. We explored a property tax mechanism to finance conservation easements or related contracts as a partial-property acquisition strategy to meet Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) treaty targets to conserve critically imperiled coastal Douglas fir ecosystems in Canada. To maximize cost-efficiency, we used systematic planning tools to prioritize 198,058 parcels for biodiversity values, estimated the cost of eliminating property tax on high-priority parcels to engage land owners in conservation, and then calculated the tax increase on nonpriority parcels necessary to maintain tax revenue. Marginal tax rate increases of 0.13, 0.21, and 0.51% on nonpriority parcels were necessary to offset the elimination of tax revenue on ∼21,000 ha of high-priority parcels, and potentially sufficient to increase area protection from 9% to 17% to meet CBD targets given uptake rates of 100, 50, or 25%, respectively. Sensitivity analyses suggest uptake rates of 30% to 40% could allow government to achieve a 17% target with 30% of the planning area prioritized for inclusion in a property tax mechanism. Our results suggest prioritizing parcels for biodiversity value and commensurate “tax shifting” may offer an efficient route to conservation on private land.
Keyword Biodiversity conservation
Conservation goals
Convention on Biological Diversity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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