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Frequently Asked Questions

Who manages land under conservation easement?
Land under easement is still privately owned and managed. The landowner retains full rights to control and manage the land within the limits of the conservation easement.

Does the easement have to cover all of my land?
Conservation easements can cover all of your land or just be placed on a portion. Landowners frequently place an easement on the portion of the property with high conservation values and keep a portion out to sell, develop or otherwise use.

Are there costs to placing an easement on my land?
There are expenses associated with placing a conservation on private land. Costs typically include an appraisal, if the landowner wants to claim a federal income tax deduction, legal review of the conservation easement and financial advice on the tax implications of a conservation easement. Other costs may arise in individual cases.

Are there financial advantages to donating an easement?

Although the land trust cannot guarantee any tax benefits, many landowners receive a federal income tax deduction for their gift if it meets tax code requirements and provides sufficient public benefit. An easement donor may also receive property tax and estate tax savings.

If I put an easement on my land do I have to allow public access?
The public does not have access to land under easement unless you specifically allow it. Some landowners choose to give the public the right to cross a specific portion of the property, especially if the land has been used traditionally for public access.

How do I determine the value of a donated easement?
The value of a donated easement is determined by a qualified appraiser. The appraiser will determine a value for the property’s highest and best use and a value of the property with the easement in place. The difference between these two figures is the value of the easement.

How are conservation easements tailored?
An easement restricts development to the degree necessary to protect the significant conservation values of that particular property. Sometimes this means totally prohibiting development and in other cases the landowner is able to reserve additional development rights. Easements can allow forestry and agriculture or they can keep the property more wild. The landowner and land trust will work together to prepare an easement that reflects the landowner’s wishes and the need to protect important conservation values.

Can I still sell or give away my property?
Land under conservation easement may be transferred to heirs or sold. The easement remains a permanent part of the title and will run with the land even after the transfer.

 

25 Friendship St./P.O. Box 180Waldoboro, ME 04572Tel: 207.832.5570 info@medomakvalley.org