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Tax Reductions and Credits

Some of the department's programs have enacted legislation to provide tax incentives to the public who are interested in providing certain stewardship efforts.

Conservation Easement Program - Conservation Property Tax Credit

Program encourages donation of conservation easements and gives participating landowners, a 15-year property tax credit on unimproved land under easement to the Maryland Environmental Trust.

Conservation easements generate credits against state income tax liability. Credits are more powerful incentives than deductions because they represent a direct offset against tax due rather than a reduction of the income against which tax is assessed.

Conservation Easement Program - State Income Tax Credit

Program encourages donation of conservation easements and gives landowners a state income tax credit in return for the donation of easement to the Maryland Environmental Trust or the Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation.

The maximum credit is $5,000 per year. The remainder of the credit (based on the appraised value of the easement) may be carried forward for up to 15 years for a maximum credit of $80,000.

Forest Conservation Program

Works to minimize the loss of Maryland's forest resources during land development by making the identification and protection of forests and other sensitive areas an integral part of the site planning process.

Landowners agrees to manage their forest land according to a management plan that is prepared for the property. Land in the agreement is generally reduced and frozen at a low agricultural rate.

The Forest Conservation and Management Agreement (FCMA) establishes the length of the agreement and the responsibilities of both the owner and the Department.

The FCMA must be drawn up for a minimum of 15 years; it can be extended. A memorandum of the FCMA and any subsequent changes are recorded at the county courthouse.

Maryland Income Tax Modification for Reforestation & Timber Stand Improvement

Provides a modification to personal income taxes for initiating forest management practices such as timber stand improvement and reforestation.

Applicant must own between 10 and 500 acres of forest land. Practices may qualify for deducting double the cost from their State tax liability.

Tree-Mendous Maryland

Encourages Marylanders to plant, care for and maintain trees to help restore and protect the natural environment, in particular, our greatest natural resource, the Chesapeake Bay. Purchase native trees for public land planting at reasonable prices.

Give the "Gift of Trees" to honor or memorialize a friend or family member or celebrate a special occasion. Donations to the program through Gift of Trees or otherwise can be claimed as a tax deduction.