Connecticut Trust For Historic Preservation

Easements

What does an easement do?

  1. Limit the kinds of alterations and additions that may be made to the property's historic structures;
  2. Require proper maintenance of the structures to preserve their historic character and structural integrity;
  3. Control the owner's right to develop the property by prohibiting subdivision of the land or development of open space.

The preservation easement may also require that certain changes be made to an historic building to restore it to an appropriate condition.  The restrictions usually apply to the building's exterior only, but could apply to significant interior features if the donor desires.  The protected features of the property are clearly defined in the easement document.

Eligible Properties

Eligibility is determined by the Trust's Staff on a case-by-case basis, but to be considered the property must be listed or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Benefits

The benefits of a preservation easement include knowing that your historic property will be protected for generations to come. Another benefit is that a federal income tax deduction is available to a qualified donor of an easement in the amount equal to the reduction in value of the property resulting from the granting of the easement.  In addition, such reductions in market value should reduce estate taxes and local property taxes.  A preservation easement can be donated to the qualifying nonprofit organization to preserve a historic structure or historically important land area. A federal income tax deduction is available to a qualified donor of an easement in an amount equal to the reduction in value of the property resulting from the granting of the easement.  In addition, such reduction in market value may reduce estate taxes and local real property taxes. Tax benefits vary according to each donor’s situation and therefore you should consult your attorney, accountant or tax advisor. 

How do I establish an easement? The Connecticut Trust will provide a draft of an easement agreement for review by your attorney and tax advisor.  The Trust will also supply a written and photographic record of the property.  The donor must retain an appraiser to determine the market value of the easement.  The Trust can help find a qualified appraiser.

What are the costs of creating an easement? The donor must pay a modest application fee to the Connecticut Trust as well as the costs of establishing the easement, including fees for attorneys, tax consultants or appraisers.  In addition, the donor must make an agreed upon donation to the Trust's monitoring fund to cover the Trust's long-term costs for periodically monitoring the property and for legal enforcement of the easement, if necessary.  All costs are also generally tax deductible.