Donating land for conservation purposes is truly one of the finest legacies a person can leave to our community and future generations. It can provide substantial income tax deductions and estate tax benefits (while avoiding any capital gains taxes that would have resulted from selling the property). Most important, protected land provides a reserve for local animals and plants. It creates a buffer against wind, helps prevent flooding, and helps reduce air pollution. Open space also increases property values and provides an oasis of solitude in our increasingly hectic world.
Donation may be your best conservation strategy if you:
–Would like to reduce the tax burden on a piece of land by donating part of it
–Would like to be relieved of the responsibility of managing and caring for your land
— Would like to guarantee that your land is left in its natural state forever
The two most common ways to protect land are outright donation, sometimes known as “fee simple,” and conservation easement.
Outright donation transfers ownership of the land trust, releases the owner of all tax responsibility, and protects the land as open space forever.
A conservation easement allows the landowner to retain ownership while protecting the land in perpetuity and reducing the owners’ tax burden.
If you’re considering donating land for conservation, please contact the SLCT. We can help you arrive at a conservation plan that makes the most sense for you, or provide you with in-depth information about various conservation options. We can also put you in touch with attorneys and land planners experienced in land conservation. .