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BlueLine has worked closely with Virginia landowners, government and our region's rural areas for more than 50 years, so we have an intimate understanding of how to establish conservation easements that are economically viable and successfully protect natural lands. We understand and support the intent of the Virginia's Land Preservation Tax Credit program. The Virginia Land Preservation Tax Credit Program, by design, provides the financial means by which the Commonwealth has chosen to underwrite its land conservation policy and goals. Currently, the major highlights of the Program are as follows:

dash An annual cap of $100 million on the granting of tax credits, adjustable annually by the Consumer Price Index
   
dash A 40% value of the easement (when giving easement donations) in the form of tax credits
   
dash Easements gifted and credits received can be claimed in the year of gift and the subsequent 10 years until fully expended
   
dash A requirement that the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is to review easements that will generate more than $1 million in tax credits in order to verify specific conservation values of such properties
   
dash A 2% or $10,000 fee (the lower of) to be levied for any transfer or distribution of registered credits
   

 

An easement donation is a complex transaction and the ultimate return you receive from the sale of your Virginia income tax credits can depend upon decisions you make early in the easement donation process.

dash BlueLine visits our client's property to evaluate and catalogue the property's land, buildings and unique features.
   
dash We identify our client's conservation and financial goals, and work towards a balanced assessment of options for the short and long term.
   
dash BlueLine streamlines the application paperwork and process to structure proper easements that generate the best possible financial return while safeguarding the unique attributes of a property.
   
dash Working with the Commonwealth's and the nation's most revered land trusts, we guide our clients in choosing the land trust best suited to their individual needs.
   
dash Taking an integrated and team approach, we utilize our connections with the region's most respected appraisal, legal and accounting firms to offer a thorough and professional experience that delivers a high level of easement integrity and client satisfaction.
   
dash BlueLine's integrated services and quality controls assist the landowner in establishing the validity and market value of their credits.

 

 

Donating a conservation easement can create multiple tax benefits. The value of these benefits will vary depending upon each taxpayer's situation. Some of the benefits are:

dash Federal income tax deduction. The deduction is the difference between the value of the property before the easement and the value after the easement. The donation of the easement creates a charitable deduction subject to income and charitable limitations.
   
dash Virginia income tax credit. Virginia will give the easement donor Virginia income tax credits equal to 40% of the value of the donated easement. There are limits on how much of the credits can be used and carried forward.
   
dash Estate tax reduction. The reduced value of the land reduces the size of the estate subject to tax.

Additionally, the donor may sell the Virginia income tax credits for cash. The sale of these credits creates their own unique tax issues for the seller.