One of CHPT's main objectives is to introduce Charlton land owners to the benefits of land
protection. Land preservation and protection offers the following benefits:
There are many options available to land owners who wish to preserve, conserve, and/or protect
all or part of their property. The three most common options for land
protection are highlighted below.
- It protects open space and water resources for passive recreation,
an objective which was identified in the "Final Charlton Open Space
and Recreation Plan - November 1996".
- Open space actually contributes to the revenue of the town because
residential development of the same property usually results in higher
- It frequently results in tax benefits for the land donor while offering
the community passive recreation sites that may enhance the property
values of the neighborhoods in which they are located.
If you are interested in discussing any of these options with CHPT, please
contact us at (508) 248-7110 or send us an email.
Developers with open space as part of Flexible Subdivisions are welcome to call Sandy at (508) 248-7110.
A bargain sale is a sale of land at below fair market value. The tax deduction
is the difference between the fair market value and the actual price paid.
Bargain sales may be a good choice for landowners who wish to preserve their
land but need income from the sale. Click
here for more information from The Land Trust Alliance on bargain sales.
A conservation restriction (CR),
or easement, is a legal agreement between a landowner and nonprofit organization
in which the owner agrees to restrict the use of the land. In granting a
CR, the land owner retains some rights and gives up others. Conservation
restrictions are flexible conservation choices. Common restrictions include
prohibitions on development activity or disruption of vegetation. With a
CR, the land owner continues to own the land. If and when the land owner
sells the property, the new owners must comply with provisions of the conservation
restriction. CRs can be donated or sold. Click here for more information from The Land Trust Alliance on conservation
There are several ways to donate land to a land trust.
Some include: donating land
outright, donating a remainder interest which allows the landowner to remain
on the property via a life estate, donating land in a will, donating land
to create a charitable gift annuity, donating to create a charitable remainder
here for more information from The Land Trust Alliance on land donations.
Note on Bargain Sales and Conservation Restrictions: The full Congress recently approved expanded federal income tax deductions
for conservation easement donations and bargain sales. Acts 2008 - Chapter 509. An Act Relative to Authorizing Tax Credits for Qualified Donations of Certain Land to a Public or Private Conservation Agency. (see House, No. 5080) Approved by the Governor, January 14, 2009.
501(c)3 - Exemption
status given to a charitable organization under Section 501(c)3 of the
IRS code. Organizations receiving 501(c)3 status are tax exempt and donations
to such organizations are tax deductible. CHPT is a 501(c)3 land trust.
Bargain Sale - Sale of land at below fair market
value. The difference between the fair market value and price paid
is the tax deduction.
Conservation Restriction - Also known as a Conservation Easement, this is a legal agreement
between a landowner and non-profit organization in which the owner
agrees to restrict the use of the land. Subsequent owners must comply
with provisions of this easement.
Cultural Resources - Historic or prehistoric
sites, typically man-made or influenced.
Endangered Species - There are three types of
endangered species: special concern, threatened, and endangered.
For more information on endangered species, please visit Natural
Heritage and Endangered Species Program web site.
Massachusetts General Law Chapters 61 - MGL Chapter
61 is titled "Classification and Taxation of Forest Lands and Forest
Massachusetts General Law Chapters 61A - MGL
Chapter 61A is titled "Assessment and Taxation of Agricultural and
Massachusetts General Law Chapters 61B - MGL
Chapter 61B is titled "Classification and Taxation of Recreational
Natural Resources - Wetlands, habitat, plants,
vernal pools, scenic areas; anything not man-made.
Stewardship - Maintenance and management of protected
Vernal Pool - Physical and biological descriptions of vernal pools can be found by visiting The Vernal Pool
CHPT has a growing
library of resource material available to landowners seeking more information.
Below is a list of books available to loan from CHPT.
Preserving Family Lands: Book I Essential Tax Strategies for the Landowner by Stephen J. Small, Attorney at Law
Preserving Family Lands: Book II More Planning Strategies for the Future by Stephen J. Small, Attorney at Law
Preserving Family Lands: Book III New Tax Rules And Strategies And A Checklist by Stephen J. Small, Attorney at Law
Land Conservation Options A Guide for Massachusetts Landowners
Rescuing Wetlands Close to Home Ten Stories of New England Landowners
Our thanks to Attorney Robert A. Levite for donating much of this valuable