What are Conservation Easements?
Conservation easements allow homeowners to preserve their land while continuing to own it.
This legal agreement between a landowner and BACT limits the use of land to ensure that the conservation goals for the property are permanently upheld. Goals might include limiting development rights or the right to subdivide for landowners. Each easement is individually tailored to meet conservation objectives and the needs of the landowner. An easement can include all or a portion of the landowner’s property. The Barrington Area Conservation Trust ensures that all future owners honor the terms of the conservation easement.
Conservation easements often qualify the landowner for income tax, estate tax and property tax reductions, depending on the nature of the easement. Typically, the higher the conservation values and the appraised value of the land for development, the greater the tax savings. An easement may lower the property’s market value, which in turn can lower estate taxes. Such a tax reduction can make a critical difference in the ability of heirs to keep the land intact; the alternative often has been subdividing the land to pay heavy estate taxes.
Read: Easement Spotlight Story