Committee Members

John Hughes
(term ends 2018)

Nancy Smith
(term ends 2018) 

Larry Brickman 
(term ends 2019)

Dale Morris 
(term ends 2019)

Deborah Fenn
(term ends 2020)

Jon Sundquist 
(term ends 2020)

Kerrie Gallo
(term ends 2020) 

 

 

Additional participants always welcome.

NYS Conservation Easement Tax Credit

NEW YORK STATE TAX CREDIT

New York’s Conservation Easement Tax Credit officially became part of the state tax code in 2006. This innovative credit will give New York State landowners whose land is restricted by a permanent conservation easement an annual rebate of 25% of the property taxes paid on that land, up to $5,000 per year. This rebate is available to all owners of easement-restricted land, regardless of when the easement was created, provided that the easement was wholly or partially donated to a land trust or a governmental agency. A landowner with multiple easement-restricted parcels can claim more than one tax credit, but no individual taxpayer or corporation can claim more than $5,000 in a single year. Eligible landowners will receive the rebate regardless of how much income tax they owe.

Land trusts tell us that the Conservation Tax Credit will create a powerful incentive for conservation all across the state because it:

  • Removes one of the most significant barriers to easement donations in New York State: the lack of property tax relief on easement-restricted lands;
     
  • Enables landowners with modest incomes, such as retirees and farmers, to conserve their land without sacrificing financial security;
     
  • Continues with the land so that future owners will benefit from it as well as the original easement donors;
     
  • Does not take away from the local property tax revenues.

IMPORTANT INCREASE IN FEDERAL TAX BENEFITS FOR CONSERVATION EASEMENTS DONATED IN 2006 AND 2007:

On August 17, 2006, President Bush signed legislation to expand the Federal Conservation Tax Incentive for Conservation Easement donations.

The new legislation:

  • Raises the deduction a landowner can take for donating a conservation easement from 30% of his or her income up to 50%;
     
  • Allows farmers who have at least 50% of their annual income coming from farming activity to be able to deduct up to 100% of their income;
     
  • Extends the carry forward period for a donor to take tax deductions for a voluntary conservation easement from 5 to 15 years.

The legislation for this tax benefit has not yet been extended beyond 2007. The land trust community is optimistic that it will be. The legislation is currently being considered by a joint House-Senate subcommittee. If it isn’t extended, the deduction rates revert to 30% with a 5 year carry forward period. Contact your local land trust for additional information about tax credits for donated conservation easements.

Adapted from Land Trust Alliance bulletins