Organizations add support for real estate transfer fees reinstatement

The Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation has added 45 organizations who have agreed to support of the campaign to Forever Green Tennessee and the Tennessee Real Estate Transfer Fees that supply the dedicated funds for parks and conservation in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Municipal League, Tennessee Clean Water Network, Boy Scouts of America Middle Tennessee Council, Tennessee Wildlife Federation and Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts are just a few of the organizations that have announced their support of the dedicated conservation funds.

“We are pleased that these organizations have announced their support of our campaign to Forever Green Tennessee, and especially of the Real Estate Transfer Fees,” said Kathleen Williams, president and executive director of the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation. “This $16 million is essential to ensure a healthy environment and economy in Tennessee, and we’re hopeful our partner organizations will help spread our message.”

In 1991, the Tennessee legislature added a small increase to Real Estate Transfer Fees to save parks, wetlands, woods, wildlife and waters. However, in 2003 and again in 2008, these designated funds were taken to help balance the state’s general budget. The legislation will reinstate these funds in 2010 unless they are targeted and taken out once again to balance the state’s budget.

“This is not why these fees were established, and land conservation is needed now more than ever,” Williams said. “Our beautiful homeland is at risk and is worth this small investment.”

“Tennessee Conservation Voters, an alliance of 25 statewide and regional environmental organizations, made restoring the Real Estate Transfer Fees as recurring revenue its number one legislative priority for 2010,” said Stewart Clifton, government relations officer for Tennessee Conservation Voters. “These fees are necessary to safeguard our living environment, including our parks, wetlands, woods, wildlife and clean water. We are proud to have been able to work with the campaign to Forever Green Tennessee this year, and this growing coalition representing tens of thousands of Tennesseans.”

For more information on the Foundation and the Forever Green Tennessee campaign, visit the website at www.tenngreen.org and the blog at http://forevergreentn.wordpress.com and become a fan on Facebook.

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