What is a Conservation Easement?
A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a conservation organization such as the Campbell Conservancy, Inc. It allows the landowner to place restrictions on future development and uses of the property to protect its natural value. It allows the land owner to retain ownership and other right to the use of the property. It does not allow public access to the property unless the owner specifically grants that right. It binds all future owners of the property to these restrictions.
Why grant an easement?
A land owner may grant an easement to protect the natural resources of the land for future generations. An owner may also realize current or future financial benefits by granting an easement on the land.
What are the financial benefits to granting an easement?
A conservation easement may qualify the donor for a federal tax deduction if the charitable donation benefits the public by permanently protecting important conservation resources, and meets other federal tax code requirements. A conservation easement may also provide property tax and estate tax benefits. Potential donors should consult with tax professionals for advice.
What other benefits are the result of granting an easement?
Protecting land that has conservation resources can help the community and the region attract and retain businesses and residents. Maintaining land as open space helps protect our watersheds and provide wildlife habitat while promoting more thoughtful development.
What kind of land can be protected with a conservation easement?
The property must have some conservation value to qualify for tax a deduction. Land types could include forests, wetlands, streams, endangered species habitat, scenic areas, agricultural land and more.
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