Preserves, parks, trails and other conserved lands in Pennsylvania are not automatically exempted from real estate taxes. If tax exemption is desired for a parcel, the charitable organization or local government must apply for exemption for that specific parcel. Exemption for one parcel does not guarantee exemption for others owned by the same entity.
Many conservation-related property transactions are excluded from having to pay state and local realty transfer taxes in Pennsylvania.
For large estates, death triggers the possibility of federal estate tax. A conservation easement on the deceased person’s land, whether granted in life, by will, or by the person’s heirs—can reduce or eliminate the tax owed.
In Pennsylvania, death triggers a state inheritance tax on the distribution of the deceased person’s assets (called the “estate”) to the beneficiaries of the estate. Conservation restrictions on land included in the estate can reduce the inheritance tax owed.
Some donations of conservation easements qualify for a federal income tax deduction; others do not.