Conservation Easement Tax Credit
The bill creates a new state income tax credit (new credit) for certain taxpayers who were denied state income tax credits for conservation easements donated between 2000 and 2013 (original credit) if the federal internal revenue service allowed a federal income tax deduction for the same donation. A donation is eligible for the new credit only if the land subject to the donated conservation easement for which the original credits were disallowed was owned by the landowner, a family member of the landowner, or a trust or other legal entity controlled by the landowner or one or more members of the family of the landowner for not less than 3 consecutive years prior to the date of the donation.
The amount of the new credit is based upon the amount of the original credit that could have been claimed at the time of the original donation based upon the value of the donation accepted by the internal revenue service; except that the fair market value of the land used to calculate the value of the new credit cannot exceed 250% of the donor's cost basis in the land subject to the donated conservation easement. The amount of the new credit is reduced by any amount that was allowed to be claimed against Colorado income tax or otherwise reinstated to the claimant of the original credit. The new credit is not refundable but may be carried forward or transferred in the same manner as the original credit. The department of revenue is required to make information about the new credit available online.
The bill establishes a process for applying to the division of conservation to claim the new credit. If the original credit that was denied was transferred to another taxpayer as transferee, the bill provides a process for all parties to the transaction to submit a mutual application to claim the new credit or, if there is objection, an ombudsman process to resolve disputes about the distribution of the credit.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)