Land preservation tax credit; application for credits prior to any donation. (HB908)

Introduced By

Del. Randy Minchew (R-Leesburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Land preservation tax credit; application for credits prior to any donation.  Provides that beginning January 1, 2013, a donor would be given the option to apply to the Department of Taxation for land preservation tax credits prior to making any donation of land. The Tax Commissioner, in general, would be required to provide such donors with a determination letter conditionally allowing the land preservation tax credits, in whole or in part, or denying the application for tax credit within 120 days of a complete application. After the Tax Commissioner's determination letter, the donor could complete the conveyance of the donation and in such case would provide the Department with certified copies of the recorded deeds and instruments conveying the donation. The Department then would provide the donor with a written certification issuing the tax credits that were previously conditionally allowed. If the Tax Commissioner issues land preservation tax credits to a donor who elected to apply for the credits prior to making any donation, the fair market value of the donation would thereafter not be subject to dispute, except upon a showing of fraud or the misrepresentation of a material fact. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/11/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12103663D
01/11/2012Referred to Committee on Finance
01/20/2012Assigned Finance sub: #3
01/26/2012Impact statement from TAX (HB908)
01/27/2012Subcommittee recommends continuing to 2013
01/30/2012Continued to 2013 in Finance


Megan Gallagher writes:

HB908 is a bad bill for three reasons:

1) It is likely to hurt Virginia's easement donors because it threatens the qualification of the easement donation for federal income tax benefits.

If the state was to give a conservation easement donor a written certification of tax credit value before the easement is recorded, it could violate IRS rules governing the easement as a charitable gift.

2) It's the wrong approach. The best way an easement donor can avoid a dispute over the value of their land preservation tax credits is to hire a qualified appraiser. That means an appraiser trained and experienced in valuing conservation easements, with a long track record of integrity and with no history of disqualifications from inflating easement values.

3) It would cost too much. Simply encouraging conservation easement donors to engage qualified appraisers makes a lot more sense than creating a big bureaucracy to pre-certify state tax credits before the donation has even been made.

Virginia easement donors don't need this bill. It should be withdrawn.