Sunday, August 2, 2009

The real estate company that cares

The Native Forest Council founder Timothy G. Hermach criticized the Nature Conservancy for its practice to sell land in Texas to its own trustees, who then allowed drilling for oil in the formerly protected areas. After the press exposed these and other actions, the Nature Conservancy established a risk evaluation committee and explored ways to mitigate the damage. Hermach still calls the conservancy “the real estate company that cares.”

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

TNC sparks tax battle in Wisconsin

The Nature Conservancy notified Sauk County Wisconsin officials that the organization would no longer be paying taxes on 9,000 acres located in several parcels. TNC also announced that it was eliminating two local jobs due to financial difficulties. The change will be devastating to some local towns. An official for one of the towns affected said they would lose more than 50% of their tax revenue used to provide municipal services. The Nature Conservancy proposes making voluntary payments totaling about half of the former tax bill to help make up for the shortfall.
Other than the federal government, The Nature Conservancy is the only landowner with property in all 50 states that is exempt from income taxes and can also stipulate that it will not pay local property taxes. One of the Wisconsin municipal officials is quoted as saying "When they purchased that property, they said they were going to be good residents of the municipalities and they were going to pay property taxes," said supervisor Paul Endres of North Freedom. "If they aren't going to pay property taxes, they should sell the property."
According to the most recent financial filings, The Nature Conservancy had 1.4 billion in revenue and only $900 million in expenses. As a tax-exempt entity, the $500 million net revenue is also exempt from income tax.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Nature Conservancy blamed for decline in US fish population

The Nature Conservancy is notoriously recognized in the "Cold, Dead Fish Awards in 2008" for their actions contributing to the decline of U.S. fish populations. reports that this year's competition was fierce "as corrupt politicians, agribusiness leaders, corporate polluters and their allies launched a full-scale offensive on the imperiled fish populations of California and the West".

Friday, January 16, 2009

Paniced municipalities blame The Nature Conservancy

Only hours after The Nature Conservancy announced that it is reacting to property tax increases by refusing to pay them, local governments are responding by warning of the coming financial problems within their communities. Municipal governments pay for schools, roads and local services through property taxes. In some municipalities The Nature Conservancy is both the largest landowner and the largest taxpayer. If they don't pay their fair share, the community can be financially devastated.

The Nature Conservancy is the world's largest real estate broker with earned revenues and cash reserves that exceed the amounts of most of the nation's largest for-profit businesses. There is no doubt that The Nature Conservancy could afford to pay its tax bill. Municipal governments do not have the legal authority to force The Nature Conservancy to pay taxes on property it owns so some people are now calling for federal legislation to force The Nature Conservancy to pay.

When private citizens and for-profit companies do not pay their real estate tax bill, the property can be seized and sold at auction in a process known as a "tax sale". This procedure does not currently apply to non-profit corporations like The Nature Conservancy. We support proposed federal legislation that would extend the same procedures to land owned by The Nature Conservancy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Nature Conservancy cuts local WI school revenues

The Nature Conservancy announced that it will stop paying taxes on the land it owns in some rural communities- taxes that local government use to fund schools, roads and other critical local services.

Rural communities that are locates in areas where The nature Conservancy is the largest landowner know that they cannot financially survive without TNCs support, so this could be the beginning of the end of these communities. We suppose that after some years of struggle these communities will deteriorate financially, people will move out, foreclosures will increase, and property values will fall.

But have no fear, once the communities start to look like ghost towns then The Nature Conservancy will be there to buy up the remaining properties from the former residents for at pennies on the former dollar value and then sell this land back to the state's taxpayers at a big profit.