Rural Open Space Preserved by State Tax Credits
Colorado is using its Conservation Tax Exchange Program to give state income tax credits to land owners in exchange for their property, most of which is under pressure to be developed. Over $15 million this year will be brokered due to the success of this tax program. "Scott Raderstorf of Boulder, who used the program for his 2002 personal income taxes. Instead of writing a tax payment check that went straight into the state's general fund, Raderstorf's check went to a rancher in southern Colorado, who had donated development rights to a local conservation trust." Essentially, land trusts pick the properties they deem most viable for conservation, and motivate a landowner to give the rights to the land by emphasizing the tax credit. Such trusts are the national Nature Conservancy, the Colorado Cattlemen's Land Trust, the Black Canyon Regional Land Trust, and the Animas Conservancy.
See http://www.revenue.state.co.us/fyi/html/income39.html for more information about the Colorado Gross Conservation Easement Credit.
Thanks to Adam Weiss