Senator Blasts Golf Conservation Easement Tax Credit
Special Report from National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA)
During a Senate floor debate on January 28, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Gary Peters (D-MI) and other Senate Democrats announced an amendment to an energy bill dealing with lead contamination of the Flint Michigan water supply. As you hear from Senator Peters remarks on the Senate floor, he attempts to castigate golf course owners as undeserving, wealthy recipients of tax breaks, and how this would block helping the children most affected by this tragedy.
The NGCOA recognizes that the tragedy in Flint requires immediate action to provide quality drinking water to the community and create an environment where long term support for those affected can find assistance. However, we feel it was inappropriate and misguided for Senator Peters to criticize the conservation easement program that protects and preserves open space.
The National Journal ran a story on Senator Peters’ comments, and reached out to Jay Karen, NGCOA CEO for his comments on the senator’s remarks. Karen stated “It was patently unfair and discriminatory that golf course owners were singled out when members searched for a (budget) offset. The easement program,” he said, “has helped many communities preserve green space amidst broader development, or set aside land to be used for species habitats.”
The Michigan Golf Alliance (MGA), which includes the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, has subsequently been in touch with Senator Peters’ office to voice their concerns and articulate the value and contributions of the Michigan golf industry. The NGCOA along with We Are Golf (WAG) Coalition will continue to monitor the treatment of golf in Washington. Should a national “call to action” be required, we ask you to stand ready to write letters and make calls as we did in 2014-15. Our goal is to ensure the golf industry does not resurface on the Senate’s “sin list.”