COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE EASEMENT
This fact sheet is intended to be a resource that outlines the various costs an easement donor can expect to pay when donating a conservation easement to the Land Preservation Trust (LPT). Since each easement donor’s situation is unique just like each property is unique, the services required and costs incurred may vary greatly among conservation easement projects. While the costs associated with donating a conservation easement can be considerable, they may be tax-deductible. All easement donors are encouraged to seek professional tax advice regarding the deductibility of all costs associated with a conservation easement donation. Below is a general guide to the services commonly associated with the donation of a conservation easement.
ATTORNEY: LPT recommends all easement donors seeking to take advantage of the federal and/or state tax benefits for easement donations seek the advice of a tax professional familiar with conservation easements and estate planning issues. Each easement donor’s circumstances are unique. Only a tax professional can provide easement donors with the most current tax information and sound advice regarding the deductibility of the easement donation and the associated transactional costs. Tax professionals are also invaluable resources regarding strategies for estate planning. The easement donor is solely responsible for hiring and paying for such professional tax services. ESLC cannot provide tax advice.
APPRAISER: All easement donors who wish to take advantage of the federal and/or state tax benefits for easement donations must hire a qualified appraiser to determine the value of the conservation easement. LPT can provide a list of Maryland appraisers who have completed the Land Trust Alliance’s course entitled “Valuation of Conservation Easements.” Easement donors should seek out a qualified appraiser who can work within the desired time frame and who has an acceptable fee for the service. The easement donor is solely responsible for paying for the appraisal used to determine the value of the donor’s charitable contribution for tax purposes.
SURVEYOR, TITLE COMPANY, ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT, and FORESTER: These services are not always necessary for completing a donated conservation easement. Staff will inform the landowner if it is determined that one or more of these services are required. The easement donor is solely responsible for hiring and paying for these services.
LPT PROCESSING AND PLANNING: Since LPT staff and board members spend considerable time processing, planning, and reviewing each conservation easement project a donation is encouraged to support the efforts of LPT.