Easement Programs

WHAT IS AN HISTORIC CONSERVATION EASEMENT?

A historic conservation easement is a legal tool used to preserve the integrity of a historic building, site, object, or landscape. The legal structure of the easement allows the owner to retain rights of ownership, while giving Heritage Ohio the responsibility to prevent present and future owners from making changes to the historic resource that could compromise its historic integrity. A legal agreement is filed in the deeds office of the courthouse in the county where the property is located, and the easement becomes part of the deed record, binding in perpetuity.

WHAT PROPERTIES ARE ELIGIBLE?

An owner of any property listed on the National Register of Historic Places, located in a certified local historic district, or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, is eligible to receive a tax deduction when donating a historic conservation easement. An easement can be donated before, during, or after rehabilitation of a historic building; however, the timing of an easement donation may have substantial tax consequences and should be reviewed by an accountant or tax lawyer with knowledge in easement procedures.

HOW MUCH IS THE TAX DEDUCTION WORTH?

The value of the historic conservation easement, the deductible amount, is determined by a specialized appraisal performed on your property. However, this value may increase depending upon the level of restrictions, whether the interior of the building is included in the easement, and whether future development potential is lost as a result of the easement. Exterior or interior easements can allow change of use and configuration changes as long as they are in accordance with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation.

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BENEFITS  OF HISTORIC CONSERVATION EASEMENT

  • The ability to treat the value of the easement donation as a charitable contribution
  • Typically, a decrease in real estate tax liability
  • Permanent protection of a historic resource from inappropriate changes or alterations
  • Written and photographic documentation of the property, archived at Heritage Ohio.