Cibolo Conservancy Easements


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  • 06/07/09
  • Cibolo Conservancy Easements

    1. 1. Conservation EasementsConservation Easements with the Cibolowith the Cibolo ConservancyConservancy
    2. 2. DefinitionDefinition A conservation easement is aA conservation easement is a legal document which containslegal document which contains permanent restrictions on thepermanent restrictions on the use or development of theuse or development of the
    3. 3. The purpose of a conservation easement To provide a proven tool for land owners who want to personally define and put in place permanent restrictions for: The protection of wildlife habitat The protection of open space The preservation of agricultural lands.
    4. 4. Why consider aWhy consider a conservation easement?conservation easement? 1. Preserve natural heritage1. Preserve natural heritage for future generations.for future generations. 2. Prevent heirs or subsequent2. Prevent heirs or subsequent third parties fromthird parties from “ranchetting” family land.“ranchetting” family land. 3. Continue existing uses for3. Continue existing uses for agricultural & recreationalagricultural & recreational purposes.purposes. 4. Maintain limited residential4. Maintain limited residential uses with reserved buildinguses with reserved building sites.sites.
    5. 5. Tax Advantages 2.2. Income tax benefits.Income tax benefits. 4.4. Estate tax benefits.Estate tax benefits. 6.6. Gift tax benefits.Gift tax benefits.
    6. 6. How is a conservationHow is a conservation easement valued?easement valued? An independent appraiser sets the value by determining the difference in the values of the property before and after it would be encumbered by a conservation easement.
    7. 7. Federal Income Tax Can deduct the value of the easement as a charitable gift, up to 50% of your Adjusted Gross Income each year, for 16 years, until the value of the gift is used up. (Up from 30% for 6 years). Individuals or corporations can deduct up to 100% of AGI if the majority of that income came from farming, ranching or forestry.
    8. 8. Estate Tax Benefits The value of the donated easement can be deducted from the taxable value of the estate. An additional 40% of the land’s restricted value can be excluded, up to $500,000, if the easement meets certain conditions under IRC 203(c). After the death of the landowner, the estate may donate an easement and obtain an estate tax deduction for the value of the easement.
    9. 9. Gift Tax Benefits Gifts of property during a property owner’s lifetime can reduce or eliminate gift taxes. Deductible annual gifts are limited, up to a lifetime total of $1,000,000, without incurring gifts taxes. A conservation easement donation made before the gift reduces the value of the property, and the amount of gift tax.
    10. 10. A local land trust is a private non-A local land trust is a private non- profit organization, whose board ofprofit organization, whose board of directors are members of thedirectors are members of the community in which the trustcommunity in which the trust operates. The land trust is theoperates. The land trust is the recipient of a conservationrecipient of a conservation easement.easement. A land trust has the responsibility forA land trust has the responsibility for enforcing development restrictionsenforcing development restrictions contained in a conservationcontained in a conservation easement. Representatives of a landeasement. Representatives of a land trust annually inspect the annually inspect the property. What is a local land trust?What is a local land trust?
    11. 11. BNo. Is public access required?
    12. 12. Will this prohibit allWill this prohibit all development?development? No. The landowner canNo. The landowner can reserve rights to havereserve rights to have additional homesites, toadditional homesites, to use for agriculturaluse for agricultural purposes, hunting,purposes, hunting, fishing, or, or recreation. However, the landownerHowever, the landowner must sufficiently protectmust sufficiently protect the conservation values.the conservation values.
    13. 13. Ownership Questions Can I sell the property or transfer ownership? YES. Will the land trust own the property? NO, the land trust only holds the easement and protects the restrictions you place on the property.
    14. 14. Do land trusts expect an endowment? Yes. The land trust isYes. The land trust is assuming theassuming the responsibility forresponsibility for enforcing your legacyenforcing your legacy in perpetuity. Landin perpetuity. Land trusts need to meettrusts need to meet expenses and build aexpenses and build a legal defense defense fund.
    15. 15. What are theWhat are the first steps?first steps? Contact family attorney,Contact family attorney, estate planner, orestate planner, or Meet with local land trust.Meet with local land trust. Survey property.Survey property. Environmental assessment.Environmental assessment. Draft a plan of restrictionsDraft a plan of restrictions and reserved rights.and reserved rights. Talk with family.Talk with family.
    16. 16. Next StepsNext Steps Letter of intent signed byLetter of intent signed by all property owners andall property owners and land trust. AppraisalAppraisal Approval by land trustApproval by land trust Board of DirectorsBoard of Directors Sign ContractSign Contract File at Court HouseFile at Court House
    17. 17. Founded in 1998 as a sisterFounded in 1998 as a sister organization to theorganization to the Cibolo Nature Center.Cibolo Nature Center. Holds 11 easements,Holds 11 easements, totaling over 4 squaretotaling over 4 square miles of the Texas Hillmiles of the Texas Hill Country.Country. Member of the Land TrustMember of the Land Trust Alliance.Alliance. The Cibolo Conservancy
    18. 18. B Contact the Cibolo ConservancyContact the Cibolo Conservancy B Phone: (210) 601-4599Phone: (210) 601-4599 B Address: 25 Spring Creek RoadAddress: 25 Spring Creek Road Boerne, TX 78006Boerne, TX 78006 B Email:Email: B Visit: The Cibolo Nature Center inVisit: The Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne City ParkBoerne City Park More Questions?