Soon-to-expire tax law offers savings for Ag and other landowners
by Green River Valley Land Trust
March 7, 2009
A conservation easement could save the average rancher in Sublette County more than $3,500 in income taxes each year for the next 16 years and eliminate estate taxes on the average sized Sublette County ranch.
If you own land with important agricultural or natural values, donating a voluntary conservation easement can be one of the smartest ways to conserve the land you love, while maintaining your private property rights and possibly realizing significant federal tax benefits.
- Raises the deduction a donor can take for donating a conservation easement from 30 percent of his or her income in any year to 50 percent;
- Allows qualifying ranchers—including corporate ranches—to deduct up to 100 percent of their income; and
- Extends the carry-forward period for a donor to take tax deductions for a voluntary conservation agreement from 5 to 15 years.
This is a powerful tool for allowing modest-income donors to receive greater credit for donating a very valuable conservation easement on property they own.
Even if the majority of your income is not from ranching, a conservation easement contribution may shelter up to one-half of your income for up to 16 years.
The deduction can be used against non-ag income and any unused portion of the deduction can be used against future income regardless of that income’s source.
Unless Congress extends these incentives, they will only be available for easements contributed in 2009.
For more information on working with the Green River Valley Land Trust, visit www.grvlandtrust.org or contact Jordan Vana, Land Program Director, at (307) 367-7007 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Individual circumstances will vary, so contact your tax advisor as well.
The Green River Valley Land Trust is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting landowning families of the area in the conservation of agricultural, ranch, and natural lands in order to sustain and protect open spaces, watersheds, wildlife habitat, and other ecological values for today’s inhabitants and as a legacy for future generations. Since 2000, the Land Trust has worked with more than 45 families to conserve nearly 24,000 acres of working ranchland, wildlife habitat and open space in Sublette County.