Is land protected by a conservation easement exempt from property tax?

Author: Whidbey Camano Land Trust | 12/19/18
       

Properties protected by conservation easements are still subject to local property taxes and assessments. Because the land is still in private ownership, landowners retain the “right” and responsibility to pay property taxes. Conveyance of a conservation easement may reduce a landowner’s property taxes. Under Washington State law, county assessors must take a conservation easement into consideration in establishing the market value of the land subject to the easement. However, this depends on current zoning and land use, current assessed value, and whether the owner participates in a current-use assessment program, like designated forest land or agricultural open space. The exact terms of each individual easement also have a bearing on property taxes.

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