NYS Conservation Easement Tax Credit
Beginning with the 2006 tax year, this innovative Conservation Easement Tax Credit will give New York State landowners whose land is restricted by a conservation easement an annual refund of 25% of the property taxes paid on that land, up to $5,000 per year. It is available to all owners of conservation easement-restricted land, regardless of when the easement was created, provided that the easement was wholly or partially donated to a public or private conservation agency (a governmental body or any qualified private or not-for-profit charitable corporation or trust).
Conservation easements were enacted in NYS in Title 3 of Article 49 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL). In order to take advantage of the Conservation Easement Tax Credit an existing easement must, in accordance with Article 49, be registered with DEC. When a holder of an Article 49 conservation easement registers the easement with DEC the holder will receive a number, which is assigned to that easement. This DEC identification number is needed to file for the Conservation Easement Tax Credit. Owners of land restricted by a conservation easement should contact the easement holder for this number. As an alternative contact DEC's Bureau of Real Property for the DEC identification number. The Bureau of Real Property is available at (518) 402-9442. All tax questions should be directed to the landowner's tax preparer or NYS Tax and Finance Office, a link to which is provided in the right column of this page.
The Conservation Easement Tax Credit will run with the land so that successor owners will benefit from it as well as the original easement donors. This not only recognizes the ongoing public benefits of private land conservation, but also helps ensure that new owners, too, will comply with their easements. And, importantly, the Conservation Easement Tax Credit does not reduce local property tax revenues, so there is no negative impact on town and county budgets.
Links to the NYS Department of Tax and Finance are provided in the right column of this page. Document numbers for forms and instructions include CT-242 and -242-I for corporate trusts and IT-242 and -242-I for individuals.