August 6, 2021
These days the U.S. government uses the tax code to affect policy more than most people realize, and it has been remarkably effective in increasing the conservation of land that might otherwise be developed.
For instance, the tax code offers a host of credits and deductions meant to incentivize environmental protection. One such provision is a conservation easement: If a landowner owns a property that has the potential to be developed but agrees to keep it in its natural state, the owner may deduct the difference between the value of the land if it were developed and its value sans development from taxable income. The promise to forego development is called a conservation easement.