1 13 Easements & Land Use
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1 13 Easements & Land Use

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1 13 Easements & Land Use 1 13 Easements & Land Use Presentation Transcript

  • Natural Resources Government Agencies
  • Term: Easement
    • Define: Easement
    • Go to www.landtrustva.org
    • Go to the “About Conservation Easements” tab.
    • What does a conservation easement do?
  • Conservation Easements
    • Easement: A right held by someone to use land belonging to someone else for a specific purpose
    • Conservation Easements prevent a parcel of land from being developed
      • usually indefinitely
      • some are written for a specific period of time
    • Landowner maintains the title
    • If sold in the future, easement goes with the land
  • Sources of Easements
    • Private land trusts: usually land is donated
      • Land Trust of Virginia
      • Virginia Outdoors Foundation
      • The Nature Conservancy
    • Non-common Open Space: 85%
      • Required of subdivisions of 30 acres or greater in RA & RC zoned areas
    • PDR- County buys the right to develop
  • PDR
    • Purchase of Development Rights: Under a PDR program, a landowner voluntarily sells his/her rights to develop a parcel of land to a public agency or qualified conservation organization.
    • Owners sell the right to develop to raise cash or make improvements to property
    • Budget will be cut 50% next year
  • Who owns the land?
    • The original owner maintains title to the land
    • He sells (or donates) his right to develop it (break it into smaller parcels).
    • Putting any easement on land decreases its market value.
    • If you donate your land you write that loss off of your taxes
  • Process
    • Apply for PDR or Easement donation
    • Land is appraised
    • Land is accepted or declined based on likelihood of development
    • Requires legal expertise
    • Requires closing costs
    • Expenses are tax deductible
  • Advantages & Disadvantages
    • Land permanently preserved
    • May have financial benefits
    • Your property decreases in value
    • You can’t undo it if you change your mind
    • More complicated if you have a mortgage
    • Easement holder maintains right to monitor property
  • Agriculture Land Use Valuation
    • Special property tax rates for land used for agriculture or forestry
    • Tax rate is based on “use” rather than market value
    • Taxes deferred annually (apply in Jan & Feb)
    • If you sell or stop producing you owe “rollback” taxes – difference between the use tax and the assessment tax rate
  • Types
    • Forestry – minimum 20 acres forested
      • Must have 40% stockage:
        • 400 seedlings or 21 trees 15” dbh per acre
        • Or inaccessible or adverse site
    • Agriculture/Horticulture – min of 5 acres
      • Must have been in production for 5 years
      • Must have sales averaging over $1,000/yr for the last 3 years
      • Minimum of animal units per acre per month
  • Cost share programs
    • Funded by the 2008 Farm Bill
    • Managed by the local Soil & Water Conservation Districts, the Department of Forestry, and the USDA
  • CREP – Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
    • Shares cost of planting riparian buffers along streams
    • Fencing livestock out of riparian areas
    • Building alternative livestock water access
    • Pays 75% - 100% of costs
    • Continuous sign-up
  • CRP – Conservation Reserve Program
    • Plant long term cover crops on highly erodible land
    • Pays cost share of the cover crop or forest
    • Pays rent on the land
    • Fixed sign-up periods
    • Make a contract for 10 – 15 years
    • Cropland must have been in production for 2 of the 5 most recent years
  • Conservation Security Program (CSP) & Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP )
    • Financially rewards stewardship and sustainability
    • Only for lands in priority watersheds
    • Land must be in use for livestock or crop production
    • Contract payments are made for conservation treatments or practices