Due to tax reform legislation passed by the NC General Assembly, the NC Conservation Tax Credit will expire on January 1, 2014.  This income tax credit for landowners who donate or make bargain sales of land and easements for conservation purposes has helped protect over 230,000 acres of forests, farms, waterways, wildlife habitat, wetlands, and other natural areas. Land trusts across the state are in a mad dash to complete as many land and easement donations as possible before year-end.

Often, a major obstacle to land trusts being able to complete donations and bargain sales is the absence of a funding source to pay for the necessary transaction costs – surveys, appraisals, attorney fees, etc. To address this shortfall, the CTNC board approved a mini-grant program available to local land trusts. CTNC will make up to $1.2 million available from our own funds (a combination of our revolving loan fund and operating reserves), with a maximum grant of $25,000 per property, to cover transaction costs. Because the land trusts have already begun reaching out to landowners to encourage them to donate their land or a conservation easement before the tax credit expires at year-end, we know there will be high demand for these mini-grants. Land trusts will apply to CTNC for the funding, and there will be a competitive review process.

If you’re a landowner considering donating (or making a bargain sale) of your land or a conservation easement, please call your local land trust today. Find them here.

For more information about conservation tax incentives, click here.