Conservation Easements

Here is a wonderful win-win situation to consider. If you own real estate property, you can give or sell at a bargain price a conservation easement to a conservancy organization like Block Island Conservancy. You would continue to be the owner of the property, and it can always be sold or passed on to heirs. You may wish, however, that the property never be developed or changed. This is what the conservation easement is all about, and it can significantly help you tax-wise. Already, many easements are in place forever all over Block Island.

Corey-Mitchell-FarmPerhaps the most important benefit, a conservation easement can be essential for passing undeveloped land on to the next generation. By removing the land’s development potential, the easement typically lowers the property’s market value, which in turn lowers potential estate tax. Whether the easement is donated during life or by will, it can make a critical difference in one’s heirs’ ability to keep the land intact. (Land Trust Alliance)

A landowner sometimes sells a conservation easement, but usually, easements are donated to a land trust. If the donation benefits the public by permanently protecting important conservation resources, and meets other federal tax code requirements, it can qualify as a tax-deductible charitable donation. Easement values vary greatly; in general, the highest easement values result from very restrictive conservation easements on tracts of developable open space under intense development pressure. In some jurisdictions, placing an easement on your property may also result in property tax savings. (Land Trust Alliance) Talk to your financial advisor for more information.

The Mitchell Farm purchase of 22 acres in 2007 is a conservation easement. For more information, call us at 401-367-4849.