Conservation Easement Tax Credit Certificates

Holder Certification / Tax Credit Certificates / Applications and Fees 

A conservation easement is a voluntary, legally-binding and perpetual restriction that limits certain uses and prevents future development of a property. It is a recorded deed restriction enforced by a conservation easement holder. Important conservation values, such as habitat, open space, scenic views, agriculture, outdoor recreation, and education, are protected.

A tax credit certificate is a document issued by the Division of Real Estate that allows a landowner who donated a conservation easement to claim a tax credit on their state income tax return if specific requirements are met. The tax credit is not a tax deduction, but rather is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of state tax liability. The tax credit certificate is transferable and can be sold only once. Effective January 1, 2015, tax credit certificates are issued for 75% of the first $100,000 of the donated value and then 50% of any remaining amounts in excess of $100,000 up to a maximum credit of $1.5 million per donation.

The process for applying for a tax credit certificate changed January 1, 2014 with the introduction of a pre-approval process under Senate Bill 13-221.