Landowners who donate CRs are often eligible for federal and state income tax deductions and tax credits. The amount of the charitable contribution is determined by a professional appraiser hired by the donor, and is calculated as the amount by which the CR has lowered the fair market value of the property. All or a portion of this contribution, up to 50% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) each year, may be deducted from federal taxable income over 15 years. For more information on federal tax benefits, see the Land Trust Alliance web page on Income Tax Incentives for Land Conservation.
In addition, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers a Conservation Land Tax Credit of 50% of the charitable contribution, up to $50,000, with any amount larger than the donor’s Massachusetts income tax paid in cash. CR gifts may provide estate and property tax benefits as well. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the U.S. Government encourage CRs where there is a clear public benefit to protecting the specific parcel.