Advocacy Matters, LLC works with private landowners, regional, local, and national land conservancies, as well as governmental agencies, social, educational, and environmental organizations to actively preserve those special places where life-long memories are created and legacies are forged. Conservation is a value-added resource in any community. Open space, trails, natural resources, and working ranch & agricultural lands are vital to our personal stories, and to our community’s health and well-being.
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A conservation easement is a legally binding written agreement voluntarily entered into between a landowner and a qualified conservation organization or governmental entity. Under the conservation easement agreement, the landowner allows a permanent restriction on the use of their land in order to protect the conservation values inherent on their land. See I.R.C. §170(h). A carefully drafted conservation easement is vital to ensuring compliance with all applicable tax rules in order to generate a tax deduction.
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Federal Tax Benefits of Conservation Easements
The donation or partial sale of a permanent conservation easement on farm, ranch or privately held lands can provide a significant tax benefit to the donor. The internal revenue rules for charitable deductions are complex and must be carefully complied with to obtain tax benefits- e.g., qualified farmers and ranchers can deduct up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income. Other landowners can deduct up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income.
Conservation Easements also afford estate tax savings by reducing the value of your land in order to pass the farm or ranch onto future generations.
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State Tax Benefits of Conservation Easements
Many states offer tax incentives, such as reduced property taxes for wildlife preservation or agricultural use and/or marketable state tax credits for conserving your land. These state tax incentives can result in significant tax savings but are also dependent on a carefully drafted conservation easement.
Succession Planning is dictated by the Arc of the family’s needs such as, nature of the business, size of the estate, retirement needs of the senior generation, and aspirations of next generation as they mature.
Conservation Easement Options
- Donation of a Conservation Easement or Trail Easement
- Outright Donation of Land
- Hybrid-Donation and Sale of Conservation Easement or Trail Easement
- Hybrid-Donation and Sale of Land
- Reserved Life Estate
- Donating Land or Conservation Easement by Will
Because options for conservation may not be readily apparent, and each property is unique, I meet with you out on your land to align your wishes with the best conservation tool.
Conservation Easement Benefits
Conservation is also a way to orchestrate the legacy of your land now and for the use and enjoyment of future generations. There are also many benefits inherent in conservation:
- Estate Planning →
- Federal Tax Deduction
- Estate Tax Incentive
- State Tax Credits
- Property Tax Savings
Please Note: Land Conservancies cannot provide tax and legal advice, and they routinely recommend that you consult with your own legal advisor when considering conservation of your land. Advocacy Matters can help you navigate and plan accordingly.
For Land Conservancies, Organizations, and Governmental Entities
- Drafting defensible conservation and trail easements
- Reviewing documentation and processes to ensure compliance with Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices
- Resolving easement violations through mediation
- Minimizing recreational liability
- ADA compliance and accessible trails
- Accepting donations of land or structures
- Planned Giving