Purchase of Development Rights: Another Option for Conservation Minded Landowners


Many landowners are familiar with conservation easements, a vehicle for preserving land in perpetuity, for which they can realize tax benefits. Few landowners, however, are aware of another option: selling the development rights to their property.

As a result of donating a conservation easement on their property, a landowner may realize a federal tax deduction for their charitable contribution, state tax credits (which may be used or sold in Virginia), lower estate taxes and sometimes lower real estate taxes. Purchase of development rights (

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