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    What are the tax benefits of
        giving a conservation easement?


    Although, depending on the situation, there may be significant income and real estate tax benefits, savings on inheritance taxes are, by far, the greatest savings a family will reap after giving a conservation easement. These benefits have been further enhanced by last summer's federal act which offers a $100,000 to $500,000 additional tax savings to families who give easements, if their land is within 25 miles of a national park, metropolitan area or wilderness area. The heirs to any sizable estate will owe 55% of the entire value within nine months of the death of the last surviving parent. A conservation easement almost always reduces the value of an estate for tax purposes, thus lowering and sometimes eliminating the tax. In most cases, significantly restricting the number of home sites permitted on the land lowers its "market value," or the price for which it could be sold on the open market; a conservation easement is a great way, and often the simplest and most efficient way, for parents to pass down property to their children.