A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and an eligible organization like Raritan Headwaters that restricts future development and activities on the land in order to protect its conservation values. Easements can be in place for a specified period of time or perpetual and will become part of the property deed. If the easement meets federal tax code requirements, the owner may consider the donation of an easement a tax-deductible charitable contribution. Conservation Easements don’t necessarily require public access.
How to donate an easement to RHA.
Raritan Headwaters accepts donations of land – critical watershed lands that advance our conservation goals, or land that can be used to raise capital to buy highly important open space. Landowners may also choose to donate their property as a personal legacy or through an estate, to demonstrate a desire to see their land remain forever as open space. A landowner who donates land may qualify for substantial tax benefits.
Donating land to RHA.
When a landowner wishes to sell a parcel outright and that property meets our conservation goals, Raritan Headwaters will consider leveraging funds to buy it alone or with partners. Purchase offers are made on the basis of appraisals that establish the fair market value of the land and on our ability to raise money for the purchase. A bargain sale is another option that may generate tax advantages, or estate tax reductions for the landowner.
Land Preservation Options
New Jersey’s farmland that is acquired through the Farmland Preservation Program will forever be protected for agricultural use. Landowners who sell their farm’s development rights can still sell their land at any time. Deed restrictions run with the land, so future owners of the preserved farm would also be required to comply with the deed restrictions. The State Agriculture Development Committee, local and county governments and the federal Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program are often our partners in these projects.
Learn more here.