Conservation Tax Credit Program

North Carolina has a unique incentive program to assist land-owners to protect the environment and the quality of life. A Credit is allowed against individual and corporate income taxes (Per G.S. 105-151.12 and G.S. 105-130.34 respectively) when real property is donated for conservation purposes. Interests in property that promote specific public benefits may be donated to a qualified recipient. Such conservation donations qualify for a substantial tax credit.

Donations Must Serve A Public Benefit:

  • Public Beach Access and Use
  • Public Access To Public Waters
  • Public Access to Public Trails
  • Fish & Wildlife Conservation
  • Other Similar Land Conservation Purposes

Amount of Credit:
Tax Credit allowed equals 25% of fair market value of donated property interest, up to a maximum credit of $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations. Any unused portion of the credit may be carried forward for five succeeding years.

Qualified Recipient:

  • State Government
  • Local Government
  • Qualified Non Profit Organizations, incorporated to receive and administer land for conservation purposes and receive charitable contributions under G.S. 105-130.9.

Tax return must be accompanied by a certification from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that the donated property is suitable for one or more of the required public benefits.

Property Interests:

  • Fee Simple Title Transfer
  • Less Than Fee Simple Title Transfer, e.g. Conservation Easement
  • May Not Include Reversion Interests to Nonqualified Recipients

Conditions On Program:
Under G.S. 105-151.12 (F): "notwithstanding G.S. 105-269.15, the maximum dollar limit that applies in determining the amount of the credit applicable to a partnership that qualifies for the credit applies separately to each partner." (This conditon expires for the taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2005)

Lands required to be dedicated by local government regulation or ordinance, or dedications made to increase building density levels are not eligible.

Credit taken in any year may not exceed the amount of income tax imposed by the state, reduced by the sum of all other credits.

Any portion of the fair market value of a donation that is not eligible or taken for credit may be considered as a charitible contribution under G.S.105-130.9.

Application for Certification

Questions and Answers

Applicable Property Conserservation Laws

Conservation Tax Credit Opportunity Fact Sheet

Contact Conservation Tax Credit Program

Contact Conservation Tax Credit Program

Scott Pohlman
Director, Conservation Incentive Program
1601 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina  27699
Phone: (919) 715-4191


Service Area

National Program