VOF Conservation Easement Presentation


Published on

Published in: Environment, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • McPherson; Montgomery Co.
  • Eastern Shore
  • VOF Conservation Easement Presentation

    1. 1. Preserving Open-space: protecting the farm and forest resource base from suburban sprawl and urbanization.
    2. 2. Since 1966, VOF helped landowners protect almost 730,000 acres.
    3. 3. What is a conservation easement?
    4. 4. Easements keep land undeveloped and in rural use such as farm and forest.
    5. 5. Easement Characteristics: •Voluntary •Flexible and individual to protect unique land features and allow for individual situations •Perpetual (required for tax benefits) •Cost effective— keeps land on tax roles •Significant tax benefits •The community benefits as well, as easements protect air quality, soil, water quality, rural character
    6. 6. VOF GuidelinesVOF Guidelines Terms vary depending on – property’s size – its physical characteristics – and its conservation values.
    7. 7. Easements limit Division of land : Best always to remain as a whole. Over 150 acres-- two parcels possible depending on individual property’s conservation values and character 300 acres could be as many as three depending on characteristics and conservation values.
    8. 8. • DwellingsDwellings:: One to two dwellings permitted per retained parcel. The second dwelling – usually guest or farm manager’s house • 4500 sq. ft review size max for each house • 6500 sq ft total per parcel or per 100 acres
    9. 9. Other easement terms: • Forest Management: Stewardship Plan, BMP’s and Pre-harvest Plan • Farm Buildings: 4,500 to 10,000 sq ft review size depending on property’s size and use. • Stream Buffers: strongly recommended esp. for perennial and significant streams or rivers.
    10. 10. Two variations on VOF easements: Standard VOF conservation easement New working farm or farmstead variant
    11. 11. Working farm variant contains a Farmstead where more flexibility is permitted in exchange for fewer divisions and dwellings outside the farmstead. Large farm buildings in farmstead by right.
    12. 12. Working Farm variant also permits: • more flexibility in uses in a designated Farmstead • Housing without limitation in Farmstead • Ag processing buildings of any size in the Farmstead
    13. 13. What a VOF easement Does and Doesn’t Do • You can still sell your land or pass it on to children • You can continue to farm, hunt, fish, or harvest timber on your land. • You can change types of crops and continue rural uses such as home occupations. • It does NOT give the public access to your land. • Easements are totally voluntary, but they also are forever.
    14. 14. TAX BENEFITS OF EASEMENT DONATION • Federal Income Tax Deduction: 30% of AGI for up to six years. (may improve if pending legislation passes). • Federal Estate Tax Exclusion: Up to $500K exclusion from Estate Tax for eased land. • Federal Estate Tax Reduction: Easements also lower the amount of liability by reducing the value of land in estate. • VA State Tax Credit: 40% of easement value– this credit can be transferred or sold
    15. 15. Open-space Lands Preservation Trust Fund
    16. 16. 1997 VA General Assembly created a new fund: Open Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund to assist landowners with the costs of conveying open-space easements and (when funds allow) the purchase of all or part of the value of the easements.
    17. 17. Open-SpaceOpen-Space PreservationPreservation TrustTrust FundFund • Costs That the Fund May Reimburse: • 1. Legal costs • 2. Appraisal and other costs • 3. All or part of the easement's value • Priority May Be Given In Applications That: • 1. Seek cost-reimbursement only • 2. Demonstrate financial need • 3. Cover a family-owned and operated farm
    18. 18. Steps in conveying an easement:
    19. 19. • Step One: Contact VOF Office to get information • Step Two: Farm visit • Step Three: Land owner consults advisors and family and decides to proceed. VOF and landowner agree on terms for easement • Step Three A: Talk to mortgage holder if there is a mortgage on the property.
    20. 20. Steps Four through Six: • VOF staff does research on the property • the landowner’s lawyer does a title search • the landowner, his lawyer, and VOF develop a deed of easement agreeable to all.
    21. 21. Step Seven: VOF Board of Trustees meets and approves the easement proposal. Step Eight: VOF staff makes second farm visit to do Baseline Documentation Report
    22. 22. • Step Nine: Finalizing deed of easement • Step Ten: Recording deed in the county courthouse. • Extra step: crow with satisfaction that your land is forever protected.
    23. 23. Conservation Easements – a flexible, cost effective choice for private landowners to safeguard rural lands and resources.