Federal Tax Incentive

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A federal tax deduction is available for conservation


What is the Federal Conservation Tax Deduction?

The Federal Conservation Tax Deduction (Deduction) is an incentive that promotes donation of a conservation easement. The Deduction allows landowners to deduct all or part of the value of a donated easement from their taxable income.

The federal conservation tax deduction:

  • Increases a donor’s deduction allowance to 50 percent of his or her income for donating a conservation easement;
  • Allows qualifying farmers and ranchers 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 to 15 years.


For example, a landowner earning $50,000 a year who donates a $1 million conservation easement can deduct $25,000 for the year of the donation and then for an additional 15 years.  That’s a total of $400,000 in deductions.  If the landowner qualifies as a farmer or rancher, he or she could take a maximum of $800,000 in deductions for the $1 million gift.

For more information, the Land Trust Alliance has put together this brochure.

What is a conservation agreement?

A conservation agreement is a written deed of easement between a landowner and a land trust that conserves land for its natural, recreational, scenic, historical, and productive values. The landowner continues to own and manage the land, and can pass it on to their heirs, or may choose to sell it. The Crested Butte Land Trust’s staff and legal counsel are skilled in this type of work, and their services are included at no cost to the landowner.

The Crested Butte Land Trust can recommend qualified professionals that have direct experience working with Colorado Tax Credits, and encourages all interested landowners to obtain their own tax and legal advice.

Questions? Suggestions? We’d love to hear from you. Please contact Ann Johnston, Executive Director, at director@cblandtrust.org.