ABOUT THE NSLA
Why We Work to Protect
Land Protection Goals
How to Protect Land
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Volunteer to Help
Join the NSLA Legacy Club
Start a Local NSLA Chapter
Conserve Your Own Land
Purchase a Property for
Encourage Others to
Protect Their Land
NEWS & EVENTS
How to Place a Conservation Easement
or Make a Gift of Land
- Discuss your intent to place a conservation easement or make a gift of land with the NSLA. Terms of the agreement like land use restrictions, monitoring schedule, anticipated structures, if any, etc. should be discussed and mutually agreed on at this time. Remember, when a land conservation group accepts a conservation easement, it also accepts the responsibility for monitoring and enforcing the easement in perpetuity.
- Locate an accurate survey of the property or retain a surveyor to create an updated survey.
- Retain a qualified independent appraiser to determine the current market value of the land in question. The North Shore Land Alliance can provide you with a list of qualified appraisers. (See footnote*)
- Discuss the advisability of the transaction with your lawyer or accountant. (A representative of the NSLA would be pleased to discuss the transaction direcly with your lawyer or accountant if you wish.) A title search should be initiated by donor's lawyer at this time to ensure the effectiveness of the transaction. Tax benefits include:
- Taking an income tax deduction for the full-appraised amount of the easement or gift. 30% of income in the first year with the unused portion "carried forward" and used as a deduction against income for the next five years. The lower appraised value of the land also reduces future estate tax.
- Lowering the value of your property may result in lower property tax. Property tax is determined on an individual basis by your local tax assessor.
- After completing steps #3 and 4, execute a conservation agreement with the NSLA. It is also hoped that the donor would make an additional tax-deductible contribution to the NSLA cover the continuing costs of stewardship.
- Upon completion of the transaction, you must contact your local assessor, advise him/her of the change of status of the land and arrange for an appointment to reassess the land in question. Hopefully, this will result in a reduction of local property taxes.
- Tax rules require the person making the contribution file an IRS Form 8283 (PDF file, 85KB), Noncash Charitable Contributions, along with his return for the year in which the gift was made. Both the NSLA and appraiser must sign IRS Form 8283.
* Please note that the costs of the survey and independent appraisal must be paid by the donor are tax-deductible items to
the landowner if they result in a conservation transaction. The donor is also responsible for the cost of the title search.