New Mexico Land Conservation Tax Credit

The New Mexico Land Conservation Tax Credit is a tax credit New Mexico taxpayers may receive in exchange for the donation of a conservation easement or land. Originally, the tax credit was valued at up to $100,000. In 2007, the law was expanded to increase incentives to taxpayers. Credits for conservation easement donations made after January 2008 will now be valued at 50% of the donated value, up to a maximum credit amount of $250,000. In addition, the tax credit is now transferable, allowing a donor to sell an earned credit to a third party.

To earn a tax credit, a landowner donates a conservation easement to a qualified land trust or government entity. The Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department reviews the donation to determine whether it is eligible to earn a tax credit. If the donation is approved, a credit is earned. Once the credit has been earned, the landowner may:

  1. Apply the credit to reduce their own state income tax liability (and carry forward unusedcredits for up to 20 years). 
  2. Receive immediate compensation for the credit by transferring all or a portion of it to a third party.

Only donations deemed by the state to meet applicable standards will be eligible to earn a tax credit. In making its determination, the state will consider many factors, including, but not limited to:

  • The conservation values of the property(agricultural, scenic,wildlife habitat, educational,recreational and historic)
  • The size of the property relative to the conservationvalues to be protected,

To maximize your chances of earning a tax credit, it is of utmost importance to work with a professional land trust; experienced legal, tax, and appraisal advisors; and knowledgeable credit transfer facilitators. Currently, the state will review projects only after a donation has been made; however, pursuant to draft regulations, the state will offer a transaction review prior to a donation.

It is anticipated that New Mexico’s tax credit transfer market will evolve as markets have in other states. Once a tax credit is earned, a donor may transfer it to a third party. This offers donors immediate compensation and third parties the opportunity to reduce their tax liability. To transfer a tax credit, donors may attempt to locate their own purchaser or work through a credit facilitator who will provide a purchaser for the tax credit. In New Mexico, there is now a third option as well. Toas Land Trust has joined with other New Mexico land trusts in partnering with the nation’s leading tax credit expert to create the New Mexico Credit Cooperative. In addition to assisting donors throughout the conservation easement donation process, the Cooperative also transfers tax credits in a way that provides ongoing support for New Mexico land conservation.

To apply for a Tax Credit, please complete a Land Conservation Assessment Application
This application, along with one paper original and eight copies (electronic copies can be sent in the form of compact discs, digital video discs, or USB flash drives) of all required documents (items will be listed on application), must be received by COB on the next deadline date.

Applicants approved for eligibility must complete the Certificate of Eligibility Application. Two hard copies and two electronic copies of the application are required, along with all the items listed on application. Please send to Rhonda C. Fitzgerald at the address listed above. The Certification Application will be examined by the Land Conservation Program Specialist and forwarded to the New Mexico Tax and Revenue Property Appraisal Bureau for a complete review. If the appraisal is approved, a Certificate of Eligibility will be mailed from the EMNRD Cabinet Secretary to the applicant. This letter will be required when applying for a tax credit.

Contact New Mexico Land Conservation Tax Credit

Contact New Mexico Land Conservation Tax Credit

Rhonda C. Fitzgerald
Land Conservation Program Specialist
New Mexico State Forestry Division
1220 S. St. Francis Drive
Santa Fe, New Mexico  87505
Phone: (505) 476-3272


Service Area

National Program