Purchase of Development Rights: Another Option for Conservation Minded Landowners
By: R. Lee Stephens, Jr
and Robert J. Allen
Many landowners are familiar with conservation easements, a vehicle for preserving land in perpetuity, but they may not be aware of another option: selling the development rights to their property. As a result of donating a conservation easement on their property, landowners may realize a federal tax deduction for their charitable contribution, state tax credits (which can be used or sold in Virginia), lower estate taxes and sometimes lower real estate taxes.2 Purchase of development rights (“PDR”) is mechanism for landowners to sever the right to fully develop their property from other ownership rights in exchange for cash.
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