West Central Ohio Land Conservancy discuss easement benefits


By Camri Nelson - cnelson@limanews.com



West Central Ohio Land Conservancy annual meeting keynote speaker and lawyer Lee Schroeder discussed current legal issues regarding farmland preservation during the West Central Ohio Land Conservancy annual meeting at The Ohio State University at Lima, Wednesday.

West Central Ohio Land Conservancy annual meeting keynote speaker and lawyer Lee Schroeder discussed current legal issues regarding farmland preservation during the West Central Ohio Land Conservancy annual meeting at The Ohio State University at Lima, Wednesday.


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 Johnson case, 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.

The Johnson case was one of the most significant easement cases, according to Schroeder. The case was about an easement signed by a mother and her children, and how her son tried to breach the subdivision restriction once the mother passed.

However the Ohio Court of Appeals judged ruled that the subdivision restriction can be enforced through an ag/conservation easement. The Ohio Conservation and Agriculture Easement Law Process and Protection helps protect those with easements preserve and conserve their property.

“The biggest worry amongst those of us that are in the ag real estate world was that if they stop this (subdivision) and for some real estate reason when do they start to peel at this,” said Schroeder. “With easements if it is written a certain way, it is binding.”

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.”

West Central Ohio Land Conservancy annual meeting keynote speaker and lawyer Lee Schroeder discussed current legal issues regarding farmland preservation during the West Central Ohio Land Conservancy annual meeting at The Ohio State University at Lima, Wednesday.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2018/11/web1_Lee-Schroeder.jpgWest Central Ohio Land Conservancy annual meeting keynote speaker and lawyer Lee Schroeder discussed current legal issues regarding farmland preservation during the West Central Ohio Land Conservancy annual meeting at The Ohio State University at Lima, Wednesday.

By Camri Nelson

cnelson@limanews.com

Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews

Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews

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