[TN-Bird] Action Alert: Thank the Governor for restoring the Real Estate Transfer Fund

  • From: Melinda Welton <weltonmj@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tnbird <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 03 Feb 2010 12:54:10 -0600

Conservation Action Alert
Subject: Restoring the Real Estate Transfer Fund in 2010.
From: Melinda Welton, TOS Conservation Policy Committee Co-chair

Action: Send a letter to Governor Bredesen thanking him for fully restoring
the Real Estate Transfer Funds in his proposed 2010 state budget, and copy
the chairs of the Tennessee Senate and House Finance committees. This is the
fund that gives us the ability to purchase land in the state. Add a sentence
about why land conservation or parks are important to you. See below for
more background. This is Phase 1 of our effort to keep this important fund
in the final version of the 2010 budget.

Governor Phil Bredesen
Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243-0001
Phone: 615.741.2001
Email: Phil.Bredesen@xxxxxx

Senator Randy McNally
Finance, Ways and Means Chairman
 301 6th Avenue North
Suite 307 War Memorial Building
Nashville, TN 37243
Email: sen.randy.mcnally@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Rep. Craig Fitzhugh
Finance, Ways and Means Chairman
301 6th Avenue North
Suite 33 Legislative Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243
Email: rep.craig.fitzhugh@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

[PLEASE send a copy to the TOS Conservation Committee so that we have an
idea of how many letters are sent and we can use that number in future
letters weltonmj@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]

Background: Since 1991, every time a piece of real estate changes hands in
Tennessee a small fee has been contributed to a fund that has purchased
240,000 acres of some of the most beautiful and valuable wildlife and
recreation land across the state. Unfortunately, for the past 2 years of
tough economic times these Real Estate Transfer funds have been diverted to
the state budget (where they contributed less than 1/10th of 1% to the total
budget). The loss of these funds made Tennessee ineligible for $1,000s of
federal match dollars to conserve additional irreplaceable wildlife and
recreation land.  Governor Phil Bredesen understands the economic,
recreational, and ecological importance of conserving land and has fully
restored the Real Estate Transfer Fund in his newly released proposed state

The Governor took a bold step in restoring these funds and we should thank
him. The Legislature is likely to try and take them away UNLESS THEY HEAR

Breakdown on how the fund¹s $16,595,000 will be spent:
1) Wetlands Fund:  To acquire wetlands to benefit water quantity and
quality, and important wildlife habitat. $6,576,300
2) State Parks Acquisition Fund:  To acquire lands important to protect new
state parks, natural areas, forests, historic sites, trails, and
archeological sites and to protect existing parks by acquiring buffers and
in-holdings. $3,112,500
3) Local Parks & Recreation Fund: To acquire lands for parks, natural areas,
greenways, trails, archaeological sites and for lands needed for recreation
facilities.  Requires 50% match from local governments.  $3,718,700
4) Agricultural Resources Conservation Fund: To teach farmers and to provide
funding to implement Best Management Practices to clean-up or prevent
pollution of our creeks and rivers. $3,187,500

Phase 1 is thanking the Governor and alerting the Finance Committees of our
support. Phase 2, in a couple of weeks, will be for everyone to contact
their own legislators as things heat up.

The effort to restore the Real Estate Transfer Fund was coordinated by the
Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation¹s Forever Green Tennessee campaign.
More information is at <www.tenngreen.org/forever green tn.htm>

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  • » [TN-Bird] Action Alert: Thank the Governor for restoring the Real Estate Transfer Fund - Melinda Welton