Eastern Shore Land Conservancy


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Conserve, steward, and advocate for the unique rural landscape of the Eastern Shore.

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Latest Tax Benefits Make it Easier than Ever to Protect Farmland from Development

Queenstown, Maryland – June 25, 2008 – The recent passage of the Farm Bill by Congress  will help Eastern Shore landowners become conservation easement donors. These special provisions previously authorized until the end of 2007 under the Pension Act of 2006 will help family farmers and other moderate-income landowners get a significant tax benefit for making the extraordinarily valuable  gift of a conservation easement donation, restricting future development of their land to protect a resource important to the public. 

“This is amazing news for our Eastern Shore communities,” said Meredith Lathbury, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s (ESLC) director of land conservation. “The passage of this extension continues to make conservation more financially feasible for more families and will undoubtedly yield wonderful returns for our protecting our rural landscapes from development.”

The extension of the expanded Federal income tax benefits will allow those who protect their land from Jan. 1, 2008 and to Dec. 31, 2009, to deduct up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income, while farmers who receive more than 50 percent of their income from farming may deduct 100 percent of their adjusted gross income, each for up to 15 years.

“Last year was a historic year for land protection on the Eastern Shore, the state of Maryland and throughout the nation and with this tax benefit extension, we are confident we can continue to make amazing strides to help more working farmers protect their land with donated conservation easements,” said Rob Etgen, ESLC’s executive director.

Landowners who donate a conservation easement – a contract between the landowners and an organization, such as ESLC, that forever protects their land from development – have done so for many reasons, including; wanting to see a working farm continue to grow crops instead of houses, providing a sense of family history and tradition for their children and grandchildren, and being determined to protect the Eastern Shore’s fleeting and unique beauty.

To find out if you are eligible for a conservation option, contact ESLC’s Land Protection Staff Sandra Edwards (410.924.2778) if your land is located in Cecil, Kent or Queen Anne’s Counties, or Jared Parks (410-443,988.81287) if your land is located in Talbot, Caroline or Dorchester Counties.

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