Real estate property is sometimes characterized as an owner who owns a bundle of sticks or rights. An owner has the right to use their land in a variety of ways, subject to local zoning and other laws. An owner has the right to plant or cut down trees, the right to build or demolish buildings, the right to grow grain or stack stones, and so on. These rights can be seen as a bundle of sticks. The owner may give, sell, rent and otherwise transfer these different sticks or rights to other people. When granting a conservation easement, an owner uses the permanent use of sticks or rights to promote a conservation purpose. The holder has the right to ensure that these sticks or rights are never used, for example, the right to divide the land, intimidate or erect large buildings. About a dozen states offer some sort of state tax incentive for the gift or sale of preservation easements. (Pennsylvania is not one of them.) A review of these different incentives would be beyond the scope of this guide. The administrative conditions of conservation easement to promote conservation objectives also vary, but generally prohibit or significantly restrict subdivision and other real estate developments. The purposes of the conservation easement vary depending on the nature of the property, the objectives of the land trust or government entity, and the needs of the landowners. For example, the objectives of an easement (often referred to as «conservation objectives») may include one or more of the following: Government programs (and some private programs), particularly those dealing with the conservation of agricultural land, sometimes refer to the purchase of development rights or RDP programs and declare their business as a purchase of development rights.
This label is misleading. In fact, these programs do not acquire development rights, but provide an incentive for landowners to impose restrictions on the development of their lands for conservation purposes and to acquire the right to enforce these restrictions imposed by the owner. These programs do not acquire any development rights that the programs could then sell to a developer or exercise themselves! Next: Important Facts (and Myths) About Conservation Easements For low-income landowners subject to state tax, a tax credit is a hollow reward for amortizing real estate by donating a preservation easement. To answer, Colorado Conservationists made their state tax credit transferable in 2000 – that is, the donor/landowner can sell their loan to other parties; Buyers then use the purchased tax credit to pay their income tax in Colorado. .