Donating land to the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy for conservation purposes is one of the greatest legacies a person can leave to future generations. It may be the best conservation strategy for you if:
Land can be donated to the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy outright, or a landowner can donate the property during his lifetime while reserving the right to live on and continue to use the property. Once the landowner dies, the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy takes title and control over the property. This tool is referred to as a donation of a remainder interest.
By donating a remainder interest to the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy, a landowner can continue to use and enjoy their property during their lifetime, possibly receive an income tax deduction, and (most importantly) know that the land will be permanently protected.
A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land conservancy that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. It allows you to continue to own and use your land and sell it or pass it on to heirs. A conservation easement may result in an income tax deduction and reduced property and estate taxes.
When you donate a conservation easement to the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy, you permanently give up some of the rights associated with the land. For example, you might give up the right to build additional residences while retaining the right to rebuild an existing home on the property. A conservation easement can allow appropriate development on areas with limited conservation value and limit development in areas that most require protection -- conservation easements are quite flexible provided that conservation values are adequately protected.
A conservation easement that meets federal Internal Revenue Code requirements can qualify as a tax-deductible charitable contribution. An agreement on the property may also result in property or estate tax deductions.