Bargain Sales

Bargain sales of land combine the income-producing benefit of a sale with the charitable incentives of a donation.  This blending of conservation tools enables the North Shore Land Alliance to do more conservation work and find creative ways to achieve landowners’ goals and financial needs.

Bargain sales are the sale of land (fee title) or a conservation easement (partial interest) to a qualified conservation organization, such as a non-profit land trust or municipality, at less than fair market value.  This not only makes it more affordable for the conservation buyer, but offers several benefits to a landowner: It provides immediate income from the sale; it reduces potential capital gains liability; and, it entitles the seller to a charitable income tax deduction based on the difference between the land’s fair market value and its bargain sale price.

Land Donations 

Donating land for conservation purposes is truly one of the finest legacies a person can leave for future generations.  You can, in effect, control the destiny of the land you and your family have loved for so many years.

An outright donation may be the best conservation strategy for you if you do not wish to:

  • Pass the land on to heirs;
  • Own property you no longer use;
  • Own highly appreciated property:
  • Have substantial real estate holdings and wish to reduce estate tax burdens;
  • Would like to be relieved of the responsibility of managing your land.

A donation of land to a qualified conservation organization releases you from the responsibility of managing the land and can provide substantial income tax deductions and estate tax benefits, while also avoiding any capital gain taxes that can result from a sale of the property.  Most importantly, if the land is donated because of its conservation value, it will be protected in perpetuity.

To learn more about Bargain Sales, Land Donations, and any other conservation tool please contact Stephen Searl stephen@northshorelandalliance.org, Director of Land Conservation.