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Conservation easement credit deadline looms

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POSTED: September 20, 2012 7:00 a.m.

Recent changes to state tax law by the Georgia General Assembly will allow landowners who protect their land from development to receive potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Those who own land and are willing to protect it forever from development enter into agreements known as conservation easements.
By preventing development, a landowner has reduced the land’s value to some buyers. This reduction has a dollar value, which the state recognizes as a tax credit.

The credit can be used like cash to pay a state income tax bill or it can be sold right now for cash. If a landowner cannot use it all in one year, the landowner may carry it forward for nine more years.

The maximum allowed by partnerships this year is $1 million, while the maximum for individuals is $250,000.

The Georgia Conservancy has worked with many landowners who have land they love but also financial obligations they must meet. Sometimes, a conservation easement to protect their land enables them to do both.

One of the oldest nonprofit environmental organizations in the state, the conservancy is committed to finding solutions that are as good for the landowner as they are good for the land.

Significant restrictions to the state’s tax credit go into effect at the end of this year.

For more information, contact Fuller Callaway by email at fcallaway@gaconservancy.org or Shannon Mayfield at smayfield@gaconservancy.org or by calling 404-876-2900, ext. 113.

 

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