Real Estate - Back to Basics: Conservation Easements

If you have ever gone for a walk in the woods on a public trail in Maine, it is very likely you have enjoyed the benefits of a conservation easement.  Looking back to my post about easements from last year, we know that an easement is a right of use on another's real estate. An easement can provide right of way access for you and your vehicles, or more limited access for a single utility. Easements can also provide rights by prohibiting the fee owner from using his or her property in a certain way. For example, a view easement may limit the height allowed on a piece of property.  Conservations are like the above examples; however, they do have some specific requirements provided by Maine statute.  

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Maine's Current Use Property Tax Programs

If you live in Maine you know it is a state with massive amounts of undeveloped, forested, or otherwise wild space. Often this type of land has been held in a family for several generations. The  property tax burden of sitting on open land can continue to grow as municipalities require more revenue. If the burden of continuing to hold undeveloped land gets excessive, landowners are encouraged to either develop the land or sell it to someone who will.  Maine has a tax program that allows landowners to designate undeveloped land and receive a reduction in property taxes.  While this program is not for everyone, it definitely can provide tax relief to people who wish to keep their land undeveloped.  

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