What are the benefits and downside of a conservation easement to the landowner?

The benefits of a conservation easement include:

  • The property remains in private ownership, allowing current owners to live on the land, manage it, leave it to their heirs, or sell it to someone else. Depending upon current tax code, a conservation easement can be utilized to lower the amount of estate taxes due from heirs.
  • The property owner is eligible for federal and state income tax reductions if the easement is permanent, meets conservation purposes, and is donated to a qualifying organization. Although there is no acreage requirement for a conservation easement, the IRS determines whether or not lands qualify as a charitable gift, thereby providing federal tax incentives to the property owner. The lands must be certified by the Georgia Department of Natural resources in order for the property owner to receive a state income tax credit. Please visit the Georgia Land Conservation Program's for the most current tax credit information.
  • Property taxes are often lowered. A property owner can ask the county tax assessor's office to re-asses the value of the land once a conservation easement is completed.

Show All Answers

1. Who decides on what should be acquired as greenspace or greenways?
2. Is Columbia County considering interconnectivity of bike and pedestrian facilities while planning greenways and trails?
3. If my land is reclassified as permanently protected greenspace through a conservation easement, does this mean that I have to permit public access?
4. What are the benefits and downside of a conservation easement to the landowner?
5. What is a conservation easement?
6. What are greenways?
7. What is greenspace?