We all profit from preservation.

Working through Green Horizon Land Trust, landowners may be able to take advantage of income, estate or property tax benefits that can help make land conservation affordable.

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Many plants are difficult, if not impossible, to transplant or cultivate in your yard. They grow where they've become established over time, thriving only in these conditions. Conservation lands are important because they protect what cannot be replaced or reproduced.

Donations that keep on giving

Trade Lands

Trade lands are lands or buildings that have little or no conservation value, but which can be given to Green Horizon Land Trust to be traded or sold. The proceeds are used to further the work of the Trust in acquiring property with significant preservation value for the enjoyment of the people of Florida forever.

Who may benefit from such a donation?

  1. I. Owners of highly appreciated property whose sale would result in large capital gains tax. The Federal Tax Code allows a deduction of full market value up to 50% of adjusted gross income in the year of the gift and a carry forward of the excess up to an additional five years applied each year up to 50 per cent limit. Corporations may deduct up to 10% of taxable income.
  2. 2. Owners of substantial real estate holdings wishing to reduce estate tax burdens.
  3. 3. Owners of property that is no longer needed or used, such as raw land, building lots, vacation homes or retreats and commercial buildings.
  4. Note! Please consult your own financial advisor to determine your tax benefits.

What is Preservation Land?

Preservation land is property with significant conservation value. The donors of preservation land would be entitled to the same deductions allowed for trade lands, with the added knowledge that their property would be preserved forever. Perhaps the property owner has no heirs or the heirs cannot or will not protect it. The estate tax burden may be so great as to require the sale of the property to pay the taxes. Should this happen, the taxpayer loses, the heirs lose and the ecological value of the land may be lost forever.

Donating land is a significant way to ensure that future generations can enjoy the benefits of the natural world while providing the donor with a tax deduction.

Why not just sell the land and take cash?

If you sell the land, you will incur a capital gains tax on the appreciation. Your profit may be further reduced by expenses resulting from the delay in finding a buyer willing to pay full market value. You may have lost a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to preserve a piece of the "old Florida" for future generations.

For example, Central Florida scrub land is rapidly disappearing due to development and agricultural pressures. Destroy the habitat and you destroy plant and wildlife that can live nowhere else. Your donation of a trade land can help ensure that future generations may also enjoy our natural heritage.

What if I want to keep my land?

Many landowners are pressed by expenses are are looking for ways to avoid selling their land to developers. Fortunately, there are tools – such as conservation easements – that can provide tax relief and other financial incentives for setting land aside for conservation. Visit our strategies page to learn more.