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Panel To Study Pet Peeve Of Governor: Conserved Land

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine lawmakers are studying land conservation, a topic often derided by Republican Gov. Paul LePage as a tax giveaway for the wealthy.
A legislative panel meeting Thursday has until February to study the tax implications of millions of acres of conserved land owned by nonprofits.
The Maine Municipal Association has said the current system can give too much power to some owners of conserved land. But the group stresses conservation decisions are up to individual municipalities.
Nature Conservancy Director of External Affairs Thomas Abello said trusts conserve 2.5 million acres of Maine land used for tourism, forestry, hunting and hiking.  Maine Coast Heritage Trust Public Policy Manager Jeff Romano has said land trusts pay no property taxes or payments in lieu of taxes on about 80,000 to 100,000 acres of land.