Deciding what will happen to your land for the long term is an important step in looking out for the best interests of you and your family.
Land is often an individual or family’s most valuable asset. The District can provide landowners with options that are not available for transactions between individuals. For example, if land is sold to the District at below market value as a “bargain sale,” the difference between the appraised value and the lower sale price, depending on the seller’s financial position, can often be used as a charitable gift donation. If a landowner donates an agricultural easement, the appraised value of the development rights can also potentially be used as an income tax donation. Of course you should always talk to your tax professional before making a decision.
Donating land or development rights through agricultural easements can help an individual or family achieve long-term goals for current and future generations. Farmers and ranchers who meet certain income and other requirements may qualify for higher deduction levels. Millions of acres of land have been permanently protected through fee (outright donation of land) and agricultural easement donations in the United States.
Farmers have used the proceeds from selling an agricultural easement to purchase more farmland (sometimes through a 1031 Exchange) or farm equipment, enhance farm infrastructure, pay off debt or save for retirement.
Every farm and family is different. EMSWCD’s experienced staff will meet with you to help determine the best possible options to protect your land for future generations. We can work with you to design a farm protection plan that fits your desires and unique circumstances.
Personal financial and income tax issues can be very complicated and require the advice and expertise of financial professionals. We can help you come up with ideas you may not have considered but you will certainly also need to consult with an attorney and a financial advisor.