Steps in the Donation of Land or the Creation of
a Conservation Easement
For parties interested
in pursuing a land donation or an easement, certain legal requirements
are essential. The following steps are only guidelines and there is
a great deal of flexibility in them. Since the donors are the recipient
of the tax benefits, it is in your best interests to work closely
with your own counselors. You should also check with your counselors
to determine if the costs involved are tax deductible. The Conservancy
will work closely with prospective donors and/or their representatives
to arrive at an amicable agreement.
Notify the Conservancy of your intent and members of the Conservancy
Land Acquisition Committee will evaluate your property to determine
if your property meets the Conservancy's criteria for accepting
land and/or easements. A member of the committee will notify you
of the committee's decision.
of Donorís Objectives
If your property meets the Conservancy criteria, members of the
Conservancy will meet with you to discuss your objectives for your
donation. They will then review your requests and the options available
regarding uses, restrictions, funding for resource protection and
long term management for the land in question. The Conservancy suggestions
will be forwarded to you.
With Donorís Advisors
For your protection, you must then review these suggestions with
your personal tax and legal advisors to insure your donation will
meet IRS tax exemptions for donations and/or easements.
If you then decide to proceed with your donation, Land Acquisition
Committee members will review the property and the Conservancy commitments
to it with the Conservancy Board of Directors for Board approval.
Following Board approval, the Conservancy will prepare a "Baseline
Documentation Report" to be signed by you as acknowledgment of
the condition of the property at the time of donation.
and Mortgage Check
The Conservancy will obtain evidence of good title and determine
if the property is encumbered by a mortgage. If there is a mortgage
present, the mortgage lender must subordinate it's rights to the
property to the Conservancy's rights as the easement holder in order
for you to qualify for a tax deduction.
of the Donation Document
The Conservancy and it's legal council will prepare a draft document
that reflects your objectives. The document must be reviewed by
you and your advisors at this time for provisions of the donation
may still be revised.
You must secure a legal description of the precise area to be donated
or covered by an easement. A formal survey is required unless the
property boundaries are clearly delineated.
If you have determined the donation will qualify for a tax deduction,
you must hire a certified appraiser to analyze the market value
of the property before and after the donation of the land or easement.
A list of local appraisers is available from the Conservancy.
and Registration of the Donation
After a final review of the documents involved, the donation and
the baseline report will be signed by you and by Conservancy officers.
The donation is then recorded in the office of the Wayne County
Register of Deeds.
the Tax Deduction
You must attach IRS form 8283 (for Noncash Charitable Contributions)
to your income tax return for the years in which the donation tax
benefits are being taken.