Preserve your family's land and get tax benefits too.
There are few legacies greater than preserving a precious parcel of land in perpetuity. Such preservation presupposes an understanding of our role as stewards of property we may own, and of our commitment to future generations. As the value of land increases, as good land gets more difficult to find, as development pressures are exacerbated, and as taxes (both estate and property) increase, families are searching for ways to ensure that their irreplaceable land will be available for their heirs, and in some cases, for the public at large.
One possible method for reducing tax burdens so that important land may remain undeveloped is the conservation easement. A conservation easement is an agreement by the landowner to permanently restrict use of his or her land. It takes the form of a deed granted to a tax-exempt charitable organization (like CCLT) or a government agency, which is legally responsible for enforcing the terms of the easement. A conservation easement need not result in curtailing current uses on the land, including, for example, residential, recreational, agriculture, or forestry. The property remains in private hands. However, by limiting development rights, the land becomes "less valuable" for taxation purposes.
CCLT and the public at large have been the beneficiaries of many creative conservation easements over the years. These easements have permitted owners to 1) continue to own their land, 2) make certain such land is available to their heirs, and 3) benefit the public by ensuring that such properties are not the subject of uncontrolled development. We owe a debt of gratitude to all of these property owners.
If you believe that your family might benefit by a conservation easement, or if you would like to discuss what options may be available to you, please contact CCLT through the Contact Us link on this website or by using the address below. We can help answer questions and provide some guidance.Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust