It may be that you want to protect your land, but you can’t afford to give it away. To state the obvious, most land conservation organizations, including the San Juan Preservation Trust, operate with limited resources. Over 95% of the lands protected by the PreservationTrust have come in the form of a donation. That said, the Preservation Trust’s Board of Trustees will, on occasion, authorize purchases of unique and highest-priority land and conservation easements.
Our Conservation Plan, which helps us to identify critical natural values and evaluate and prioritize properties for conservation, serves as a guide for our acquisition activities. Other variables, such as project visibility, the availability of internal resources (human and financial), a community’s fundraising capacity, the potential for partnerships and grants, and the level of threat all play important roles in determining when – and how – we approach an acquisition opportunity.
Should you wish to sell land featuring what you believe to hold high conservation value, you are encouraged to contact us at (360) 378-2461. While we cannot guarantee that we will have the capacity to purchase your property, we will evaluate it and provide you with a prompt response. You never know: there are some very special places in the islands that we would like to see protected, and we may be interested in acquiring it for our network of nature preserves. If we cannot purchase it ourselves, we may also be able to help direct you to other conservation resources and outcomes.
What is a “Bargain Sale”?
With limited funds, we are always searching for ways to stretch our dollars and reduce the cost of protecting critical island land. A bargain sale (the sale of property to a charitable and tax-exempt organization for less than its fair market value) is an attractive alternative to selling land or conservation easements at full market value. By offering to sell at a less-than-fair-market price, you can make a partial gift for conservation purposes while also receiving money for your own financial needs. The Preservation Trust may also be able to fundraise more easily to acquire bargain sale properties and conservation easements.
There are two financial advantages of a bargain sale can make it nearly as attractive as a sale at full, fair market value. The IRS allows for a charitable income-tax deduction equivalent to the difference between the full, fair-market value and the bargain sale price. In addition, you will pay less capital gains tax.
There are other approaches to selling your land or a conservation easement on your land, including installment sales, and options and rights of first refusal. For more information on these and other alternatives, please contact the Preservation Trust staff or a Trustee that represents your island. We’ll talk you through some options, and can provide you with more information.
For more information about the tax implications of private land conservation, click here.
All inquiries to the San Juan Preservation Trust are confidential and without obligation.