As we work with landowners to preserve the rural character and ecological integrity of the Haw River, perhaps the most valuable vehicle available to conservationists and landowners is the conservation agreement. Conservation agreements have emerged as popular conservation options because they allow landowners to maintain ownership and control over their property, while providing substantial tax benefits to those landowners. Here is a quick breakdown of the tax benefits of conservation agreements:
• A deduction for landowners of the entire amount of reduction in value of their property from their Federal taxes.
• A credit equaling 25% of the reduction in value of their property from North Carolina state taxes.
• A reduction of local property taxes resulting from a lower taxable value of the land.
• Conservation agreements may also help landowners lessen estate taxes or avoid paying estate taxes by reducing the value of their estate below the estate tax threshold.
Conservation agreements may be crafted to cover all or only a portion of a landowner’s property. Further, conservation agreements can be tailored to suit the needs and desires of particular landowners, such as the desire to build an additional home on the property for a son or daughter.
For more information on conservation easements, or to discuss ways to protect your land, please contact a Haw River Trail Coordinator.