In April 2006, the state of Georgia passed the Georgia Land Conservation Tax Credit Act, creating a new state income tax credit (not deduction) for land conservation. The purpose of the law was to provide a financial incentive for landowners willing to donate conservation easements or fee interests in real property to a nonprofit land trust or governmental entity, and thereby protect naturally and/or historically significant lands. The law allowed Georgia taxpayers a credit of up to 25% of the fair market value of the donation, with a maximum credit of $250,000 per individual, $500,000 per corporation and $1,000,000 for partnerships.
On January 1, 2012, Georgia stepped into the forefront of incentivizing conservation by allowing these tax credits to be transferred or sold. Instead of having to use the Georgia income tax credits for the individual taxpayer donating the real property interest, they can now be sold on the open market for approximately $.80 per $1 of tax credit (the current market rate in the four other states with similar transferable tax rights).
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