Benefits to you:
In addition to protecting land for present and future generations, there are a number of tax-related benefits for landowners who donate conservation easements to the land trust or a similar organization.
Among these are the federal income tax deduction for the charitable gift of the easement's appraised value. This deduction is similar to donations to other charitable organizations such as churches, the Red Cross, educational institutions, etc., and is subject to the same limitations. In addition, federal law provides significant reductions in estate taxes for easement-protected lands. For more information on federal tax incentives, click here.
New York State also provides a major tax benefit to land owners. The conservation easement tax credit offers taxpayers whose land is restricted by a conservation easement an annual New York State income tax credit of up to 25% of the school district, county, and town real estate taxes paid on the restricted land, up to an annual maximum of $5,000 per taxpayer. This credit is claimed when the landowner files their NY income tax return. For more information on state tax incentives, click here.
The reduction in assessed value of an easement-protected parcel may also result in lower local property taxes on the land. This determination is up to local assessors, but proof of the lower property value can be presented in the form of before and after easement appraisals on the land.