The property owner who donates a Conservation Easement may receive a substantial, tangible tax benefit in return under current tax laws. The value of the donation qualifies as a charitable contribution, deductible for federal and D.C. income, estate and gift tax purposes.
The deduction – equal to the diminution in value resulting from burdening the property with the easement's restrictions – is determined by a professional appraiser selected and hired by the donor. How much is the typical deduction? Because each property is unique, there is no set formula for estimating the value – it depends on the property and the nature of the restrictions that the easement imposes. For more information please see Common Questions and Answers.
A Conservation Easement donation isn't for everyone. Your gift of an easement is given in perpetuity and its terms impact you and all future owners of the property. Before you donate, make sure you know what you are giving away and to whom you are giving it.