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In 2006, the efforts of New York Land Trusts and the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) paid off: New York’s Conservation Easement Tax Credit officially became part of the State tax code. This innovative credit gives New York State landowners whose land is restricted by a conservation easement an annual refund of 25% of the combined town, county, and school property taxes paid on that land (not including buildings and structures), up to $5,000. Landowners may claim this rebate when they file their annual New York State income tax return.

The tax credit is available to owners of qualified conservation easement-restricted land, regardless of when the conservation easement was created, provided that the conservation easement was wholly or partially donated to a land trust or a governmental agency. A landowner with multiple conservation easement-restricted parcels can claim more than one tax credit, but no individual taxpayer or corporation can claim more than $5,000 in a single year. Eligible landowners will receive the rebate regardless of how much income tax they owe. The tax credit runs with the land so that successor owners will benefit from it as well as the original easement donors.

And, the Conservation Easement Tax Credit does not reduce local property tax revenues, so there is no negative impact on town and county budgets. No other state has a tax incentive that will appeal to so many landowners and provide such lasting benefits.

DLC and other land conservation partners are working with the Department of Taxation and Finance on a Technical Corrections Bill to revise the law to include land within villages, cities, and corporately owned land protected by easement. We will keep you posted on updates!

For more information on the New York State Conservation Easement Tax Credit, please visit


This information does not constitute legal or tax advice and DLC strongly recommends that you discuss your land conservation options with legal and tax professionals.