LIMA — Keynote speaker and attorney Lee Schroeder discussed several contemporary and current legal issues regarding farmland preservation during the West Central Ohio Land Conservancy 13th annual meeting Wednesday at the Ohio State University at Lima.
The Ohio Conservation and Agriculture Easement Law Process and Protection, the Ohio CAUV law and federal deductibility of conservation easements were just some of the contemporary and legal issues discussed. Several landowners and West Central Ohio Land Conservancy members across Allen, Auglaize, Hardin, Hancock, Mercer, Putnam and Van Wert counties attended the annual meeting.
The West Central Ohio Land Conservancy is a volunteer, non-profit organization that helps assist land owners with preserving and protecting their land through the use laws such as conservation easements.
An easement is a law that helps conserve and preserve agricultural land. Right now, the West Central Ohio Land Conservancy have completed 17 easements with more than 1,553 acres of land and are currently working on completing three more with 750 acres of land.
Schroeder also mentioned how the change in the Ohio CAUV law will help lower the tax rate of a landowner’s land that is not actively farmed. That land includes ditch banks, tree lines and fence rows.
“The CAUV law changed and it made it a little bit more friendly to farmers because of the up and down farm economy,” said Schroeder. “The CAUV values were not stuck at a high value for an aggressive downtown economy, but it also had a significant include on saving real estate taxes in the state.”
Another incentive for eligible landowners with easements is that if they decide to donate or sell the easement they can get an income tax reduction through the Federal deductibility of conservation easements.
“You get a federal tax reduction spread out over several years,” said Schroeder. “It’s a great gig because almost always there is not enough money to fully compensate someone for it.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews