Belk v. Commissioner

US Tax Court, 140 T.C. No. 1, January 28, 2013: Conservation easement with swap provision does not protect property in perpetuity; deduction denied.

At issue was the IRS’s denial of a “qualified conservation contribution” tax deduction for donation of a conservation easement on 184.627 acres of a golf course to Smoky Mountain National Land Trust. The legal [...]

Pecos River Open Spaces, Inc. v. County of San Miguel

Court of Appeals of New Mexico,No. 30,865, January 11, 2013: Open space conservation land owned by conservation nonprofit exempt from property tax.

In a case of first impression, the Appeals Court held that property owned by a conservation organization, subject to a conservation easement prohibiting all construction, for the purpose of open space conservation constitutes a “charitable [...]

Scheidelman v. Commissioner (Scheidelman III)

U.S. Tax Court, T.C. Memo. 2013-18, January 16, 2013: Finds historic preservation façade easement in historic district did not diminish value of property.

The IRS denied Scheidelman a charitable deduction for a façade easement on a property in a New York City historic district. The Tax Court sided with the IRS in Scheidelman v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. [...]

Pesky v. US (Pesky II)

U.S. Dist. Court, D. Idaho, No. Civ. 1:10-186 WBS, January 7, 2013: Refuses to dismiss IRS claim for 75% penalty for conservation easement tax fraud.

The Peskys were denied a charitable deduction from income tax for the grant of a conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) on land owned by the Peskys, and the IRS imposed [...]

Tresch v. County Of Sonoma

California Court of Appeals, 1st District, Division 4, No. A133472, January 4, 2013: California county’s resolution clarifying conservation easement not subject to environmental impact review. (Unpublished)

In connection with a proposed quarry operation on adjacent land, a conservation district adopted a resolution interpreting an existing conservation easement to permit the establishment of a wildlife preserve on agricultural [...]

Minnick v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

U.S. Tax Court, 2012 T.C. Memo 345, December 17, 2012: Conservation easement deduction denied because mortgage not timely subordinated; 20% penalty upheld.

In 2006, Minnick granted a conservation easement to a land trust on a 74-acre parcel of land near Boise, Idaho. The land was subject to a mortgage that was not subordinated to the conservation easement [...]