The hallmark of Utah Open Land’s innovative tools is the conservation easement. A conservation easement is a binding, legal agreement entered into mutually by a landowner and Utah Open Lands for the purpose of protecting the special features of a property by restricting development.
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The conservation easement process begins here.
Through a Conservation Easement, the land remains in private ownership.
The land remains in private ownership while Utah Open Lands assures that the terms of the agreement are followed in perpetuity. The landowner can continue to live on and use the property, sell it, or pass it on to the next general. Because the easement restricts the development rights of the property, the fair market value is reduced, which consequently lowers the estate taxes. Additionally donors of conservation easements may receive a charitable deduction for their contribution and, therefore, income tax benefits.
In December of 2015 Congress made permanent a federal tax incentive for conservation easement donations that can help thousands of landowners conserve their land.
In accordance with the provisions for conservation easements set up under 170 (h) of the IRS CODE, in order for a property to qualify for a conservation easement it must adequately protect one of five listed conservation resources criteria.