Financial incentives for land protection

Tax advantage of land protection

Donations or bargain sales of land or Conservation Restrictions offer significant income tax, estate tax and capital gains tax benefits. The amount of tax deduction depends on your income and tax situation. We encourage you to consult with your financial or tax adviser for information on the benefits to you.

Protecting your land with a Conservation Restriction usually either reduces the property tax burden on your land or causes it to remain relatively constant if your land is already enrolled in the chapter 61 program. Your town assessors will make the ultimate judgment on the tax rate for your property once protected.

Massachusetts Conservation Land Tax Credit Program

Land protected with a Conservation Restriction where the CR or the land is donated to a 501(c)3 organization can qualify for a refundable state income tax credit of half the appraised value, up to $75,000. This state tax credit is in addition to any federal tax deductions. The tax credit is awarded as a cash payment if the donor does not have sufficient state tax burden, and is available to out of state residents donating property in Massachusetts. It applies to both land and Conservation Restriction donations, as well as donations of a life estate, or a bargain sale of land. This tax credit provides an important incentive for landowners who are willing to protect their land. The Conservation Land Tax Credit program operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and annual funding for the program is capped at $2 million. More information is available in this summary sheet or at the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

More information about conserving your land and the advantages of conservation can be found at massland.org in the Landowner Information Library.