PA Superior Court, 2013 PA Super 145, June 19, 2013: Special knowledge not sufficient interest for private citizen to intervene in charitable trust matter.

[Editorial note: Some commentators have made the argument that conservation easements and historic preservation easements are charitable trusts under the laws of various States. This case is reviewed here because it concerns standing [...]

Belk v. Commissioner (Belk II)

US Tax Court, T.C. Memo. 2013-154,June 19, 2013: Reaffirms Belk I, denying tax deduction for conservation easement that allows substitution of entire property.

In Belk v. Commissioner, 140 T.C. 1 (Jan. 28, 2013) (“Belk I”), the Tax Court found that the Belk conservation easement permits the grantor and grantee, by agreement and subject to certain restrictions, [...]

Schottland V. Brown Harris Stevens Brooklyn, LLC

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second Department, 2013 NY Slip Op 03982, June 5, 2013: A NY property seller’s covenants against prior acts may require disclosure of a conservation easement.

 In or about 2002, the Netzer defendants granted what the court called “a conservation easement” (it was a historic preservation façade [...]

Mountanos v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

U.S. Tax Court, T.C. Memo. 2013-138,June 3, 2013: Deduction for conservation easement denied because more valuable highest & best use before donation not proven.

Taxpayer/petitioner (Mountanos) granted a conservation easement on an 882 acre California ranch in 2005 and claimed a deduction (spread over four years) of about $4.6 million for the value of the easement. The [...]