Services to Donors Already in Progress
Conservation Partners, LLC helps landowners achieve their conservation goals. Since 2001, we have assisted hundreds of landowners with their conservation easement donations, including the successful transfer of over one hundred million dollars in land preservation tax credits.
While Conservation Partners often helps landowners through the entire easement donation process, we work extensively with easement donors who have completed some of the process themselves. Conservation Partners’ staff of experts will help donors complete their land or easement donations and apply for, market, and sell the resulting Virginia land preservation tax credits.
You may have only met with the donee and made the decision to proceed with an easement donation. You might have a completed conservation easement draft, and now you’re looking for an appraiser. Your gift might have been finally approved by the donee, and you’re wondering what steps are left. Or you might have completed your donation and now you’re faced with compiling and filing your application for a Virginia land preservation tax credit. Conservation Partners can help…no matter what stage of the process you’re in.
Even if you feel like the donation process is mostly over, you may be surprised to learn that a fairly complex—and potentially expensive—process still lies ahead before your property is finally protected and you can realize tax benefits from your donation. Please contact us for a more complete explanation of the process still remaining after the gift has been approved.
Our job at Conservation Partners, LLC is to help easement donors complete the donation and credit application process and sell their tax credits as quickly, smoothly, and inexpensively as possible.
We actively facilitate the donation and tax credit application process and we keep all parties involved in the process on track and on schedule. Many legal and financial consultants rely on our extensive expertise as they work with donors, reducing the hourly fees they have to charge.
And while some service providers will assist donors through the process for an additional (usually hourly) fee, our team of experts facilitate the process without additional cost to the donor: the only fee we charge is based on the amount of land preservation credit you ask us to sell for you.
We have found that this is the most cost-effective way to complete the donation process while also ensuring you receive market-leading returns on the sale of your credit.
Conservation Partners’ Full-Service Approach
Landowners face many steps and decisions as they work through the process of protecting their property in perpetuity. Conservation Partners, LLC has the personnel and resources to ensure the complex process of donating an easement does not overwhelm the donor.
A number of individuals, agencies, and institutions will be involved in the donation of your conservation easement, and usually the donor is expected to coordinate all of these players and make sure all of the many steps in the process are taken care of. At Conservation Partners, LLC, we do the coordinating for you, working on your behalf to keep the process moving from the initial introduction through the registration and sale of your land preservation tax credit. We will keep you up to date through calls, emails, and visits to your property, and we are always standing by to answer your questions.
Considering a conservation easement donation is a very personal experience. We meet individually with our donors and carefully explain the many benefits resulting from a donation of a qualifying conservation easement. And while we cannot give legal or tax advice ourselves, we can consult with donors’ professional advisors throughout the donation process.
To assist landowners and prospective holders, we offer comprehensive mapping services to illustrate the boundaries and conservation features of a landowner’s property.
We work with donors, their professional advisors, and easement holders to actively manage and facilitate the process of donating easements, gathering documentation, obtaining any required reviews by state agencies, tax credit application, marketing credits for sale, and transferring credits to buyers. We keep the process moving.
With over twenty years of experience working with professionals around the Commonwealth, Conservation Partners can offer landowners introductions to a network of experienced professional advisors including attorneys, appraisers, and CPAs. Also, we provide high-level consulting resources for donors’ attorneys, appraisers, accountants, and other professional advisors, and when necessary, we can call on an extended team of national legal, appraisal, and accounting experts to assist with the most difficult issues.
Conservation Partners offers baseline documentation report (BDR) preparation services to its customers free of any additional charge. The BDR is required and includes maps, reports, photographs, and other materials to establish the condition of the property at the time the easement is donated.
Our interest-free Advance Funding Program can help landowners cover the costs associated with making an easement donation. We accept requests to advance funds to pay appraisal, legal, survey, and other expenses, subject to reimbursement after the tax credit has been sold.
Financial institutions must agree to easements on land subject to liens. We have the in-house expertise to help address the various technical and practical challenges associated with liens, subordinations, refinancing, loan payoffs, and other banking issues. We have worked with a number of lenders who recognize the value of lands protected by conservation easements.
Our in-house experts will evaluate key tax credit documents—including the deed conveying the gift and the appraisal report valuing the gift—for compliance with our proprietary Quality Standards, and we help landowners’ attorneys, appraisers, and accountants ensure all documents comply with our Standards. All documents reviewed are kept in strict confidence.
Conservation Partners facilitates and expedites the complex tax credit application process. Our history of over twenty years illustrates an exceptional record of timely submission of complete tax credit applications to the Tax Department. Even if a donor intends to hold credit to sell later, we will work with donor and their tax advisor to apply for the tax credit now. Once the donor’s tax credit number is issued, the credit will be available to sell on the donor’s schedule.
Conservation Partners markets and sells land preservation tax credits to buyers who value the quality of our donors’ easements and appraisals, which means a higher return for the donor. Land preservation tax credits marketed by Conservation Partners are recognized for their quality and are preferred by risk conscious purchasers and their advisors, many of whom come to us year after year to supply them with high-quality credits.
We have invested in sophisticated technology and processes that make it easier than ever for Virginia taxpayers to purchase credits. Our one-of-a-kind automated transfer system allows us to manage a high volume of tax credit purchases quickly and securely, meaning you receive your credit sales proceeds sooner.
The Virginia Department of Taxation imposes a 5% transfer fee on all credit sales. Conservation Partners advances this fee so tax credit sellers don’t have to personally write checks to the Department.
Conservation Partners offers a wide range of educational materials for landowners interested in conserving their land and for those already in the process of making a donation. Other booklets in our Land Conservation Education Series are available upon request.
- “Introduction to Conservation Easements in Virginia”: A primer for landowners who want to first familiarize themselves with conservation easement donations. We also offer a DVD introduction for prospective donors, “Your Land Legacy–An Introduction to Conservation Easements in Virginia.”
- “The Conservation Easement Donation Process”: This booklet provides more details on the process of donating an easement and registering and marketing a land preservation tax credit.
- “Professional Advisors”: A booklet providing a more in-depth discussion of hiring and working with qualified professionals.
- “Completing Your Donation and Marketing Your Tax Credit”: For donors engaged in the process, this booklet describes how Conservation Partners can help complete the donation and tax credit application and sales in a timely and cost-effective manner.
- Other Resources available upon request: Sample Benefit Calculations, Advance Funding of Easement Costs Program, and Presentation Services.
Many easement donors have an interest in how they can protect and enhance the wildlife habitat, farming or forest viability, or water quality on their lands. Conservation Partners maintains a network of conservationists and agricultural and forestry experts who can help develop comprehensive management plans for the landowner.
We are committed to doing everything we can to make the process of donating an easement, gathering documentation, registering and preparing credits for sale, and transferring credits as smooth and rewarding as possible.
Because all of our services are covered by the fees donors pay when they sell their tax credits through Conservation Partners, LLC, donors who work with us save valuable time and money while ensuring their donations provide high-quality conservation that will benefit current and future generations of Virginians.
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