photo credit: Kristin DeBoer

Kestrel Offers Landowners Choices

Land means different things to different people: family heritage, working landscapes, habitat for plants and animals, solace and solitude, artistic inspiration, or simply a connection to place.  At Kestrel Land Trust, we work with landowners to retain the values they attach to their land, and help them protect the land from unwanted development. We guide landowners as they consider options and assist them in the steps to legally preserve their land, whether by Conservation Restriction (CR), Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR), or an outright gift or sale.

Recipients may include conservation organizations, state agencies, or local municipalities. Gifts and donations to nonprofit conservation groups with 501(c)(3) status are usually tax-deductible. And now, there’s an additional benefit to Massachusetts landowners: A new state tax credit. With this Conservation Land Tax Credit Program, land protected in perpetuity can qualify for a refundable state income tax credit of half the appraised value, up to $50,000. This state tax credit is in addition to any federal tax deductions the donation may qualify for. It applies to both land and conservation restriction donations, as well as donations of a life estate, or a bargain sale of land.

This tax credit provides an important incentive for landowners who are willing to protect their land. Landowners who have taken advantage of the tax credit say it was very helpful in covering some of the costs of conserving their land, making it more feasible than in the past.The CLTC program operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and annual funding for the program is capped at $2 million. For more information on the tax credit, download this summary sheet or visit the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. 

Below are some helpful resources for more information:

Federal Conservation Enhanced Easement Incentive

Agriculture and Forest Tax Benefits

If you would like more information on ways to conserve your land, please contact Ben Wright at 413-549-1097 or read on for an overview. Remember every piece of land is different, but we aim to find the best conservation option for you!

Kestrel sponsors occasional workshops and gatherings to help landowners learn more about their options. Go to our Events page for upcoming programs. 

Conserve Your Land