The purpose of this report is to assess the effectiveness of state income tax credits (Conservation Credits) in advancing land conservation and to guide states through issues related to the development of a tax credit program.
It has been twenty-three years since North Carolina enacted the nation’s first state tax credit program for land conservation donations. Since that time, the tool has become increasingly popular, with eleven additional states passing tax credit legislation since 1999. With many programs at least five years old, it is an appropriate time to evaluate the effectiveness of Conservation Credits in advancing land protection and to provide guidance to other states considering such programs. Part One of this report addresses the effectiveness of state tax credit programs. Part Two provides guidance for program development.
The Conservation Resource Center (CRC) has conducted an in-depth analysis of the nation’s twelve Conservation Credit programs. The information and conclusions presented in this report are based on:
• Detailed examination of state Conservation Credit legislation and supporting regulations.
• Interviews with land conservation professionals in each of the twelve
states having state tax credits.
• CRC’s nearly ten years of work in Conservation Credit law, policy,
This report is intended both to provide a snapshot of the current effectiveness of Conservation Credit programs and to serve as an aid to states that are rethinking existing legislation or drafting new programs.