Donating an easement can give significant tax benefits to the landowner. The laws governing these incentives are currently being lobbied in Washington DC – read about the updated incentives for 2012 here,
For more Conservation Donations Rules click here.
General Tax Incentives for Conservation Easements:
An important tax benefit for placing a conservation easement over a property is the reduction of estate taxes. Because estate taxes are based on the highest economic use of the parcel, these taxes can be substantial even if the land is being used as a farm or ranch. This can put considerable financial strain on heirs and in many circumstances may force them to sell all or part of the land in order to pay estate taxes. Conservation easements can help prevent this and aid in the intergenerational transfers of intact properties.
By granting away development rights the value of the land is decreased, which lowers the value of the land for estate tax purposes, and can provide a significant reduction in the estate tax burden on family members. This is particularly helpful in situations where the cultural, sentimental and historical uses of the land are much more important to the heirs than its economic value. For more information, please visit, www.landtrustalliance.org.