New Incentives for Land Donation!!
On August 3rd 2006 the Congress approved an expansion of the federal conservation tax incentive for conservation easement donations. On August 17th the President signed it into law! The new law:
- Raises the deduction a landowner can take for donating a conservation easement from 30% of their income in any year to 50%;
- Extends the carry-forward period for a donor to take tax deductions for a voluntary conservation agreement from 5 to 15 years.
- Click here for more information
Smith Island Land Trust
The Smith Island Land Trust is a subsidiary of BHI Conservancy whose mission is to acquire and preserve historically and ecologically significant lands on Smith Island for the benefit of current and future generations.
SILT was founded as a nonprofit corporation in July 1996. The Land Trust merged with the Bald Head Island Conservancy on July 20, 2002 and now operates as a subsidiary corporation of The Conservancy (to read more about the merger, click here). The Land Trust is a tax-exempt 501(C-3) public charity, and with respect to the preservation of properties it operates as a "qualified organization" and "eligible donee" within the meaning of Section 170(H-3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
In 1997, the Smith Island Land Trust raised $1,000,000 from over a thousand Bald Head Island friends and associates to acquire from the developer 11 acres on the point at Cape Fear. In order to provide it the highest level of protection possible, this pristine parcel was subsequently deeded to the State of North Carolina and is now part of the Bald Head Island State Natural Area. The Land Trust was also successful in securing over 13 acres of maritime forest adjacent to Federal Road in 2001, which has been added to the Bald Head Woods portion of the state's maritime forest preserve.
Today, the Smith Island Land Trust has preserved in perpetuity over 25 additional properties, all of which have been deemed to have significant environmental and/or ecological value to the area. The value when donated of lands that have been preserved by the Land Trust now total well in excess of $10 million.
With no more large parcels available for acquisition within the Smith Island complex, the Smith Island Land Trust now focuses its efforts on the preservation of individual lots, in the pursuit of lower development density, enhanced ecological habitats and improved scenic values. Through the utilization of parcel donations, bargain sales and/or the placement of conservation easements on such properties, substantial benefits are available to those who collaborate with the Land Trust to preserve such properties.
For more information on land preservation, link to the Land Preservation Opportunities section of this site, or you may contact the administrative office for assistance.