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Easement sellers and donors should contact their local property tax offices after completing an easement contract. After property is placed under easement, its market value usually drops. Both NC and SC require local appraisers to consider conservation easements when determining value for property taxes.

SOUTH CAROLINA

SC State Scenic Rivers Program
Land in the SC Scenic Rivers Program may be exempted from property tax when a permanent easement is placed with the state. Here's an example. The shoreline included in this program is:

  • 15-mile segment of the Broad River in Cherokee and York counties
  • Lower 14 miles of Little Pee Dee in Horry, Marion and Dillon counties
  • 10 miles of lower Saluda below Lake Murray dam in Lexington and Richland counties
  • 54-mile stretch of the Lynches through Darlington, Florence, Lee, Sumter Counties
  • 5 miles of Middle Saluda in Greenville County

NORTH CAROLINA
Landowners participating in present-use property tax reduction programs may place a permanent conservation easement on their property without worrying about recapture of taxes if the property qualifies for the NC state conservation tax credit.

See GS § 105-277.3 (d1) Exception for Easements on Qualified Conservation Lands Previously Appraised at Use Value.

The Open Space Protection Collaborative provides information to promote the proper use of easements and other conservation tools. This information is not intended to be tax or legal advice; individuals should consult their own legal and financial advisers before drafting, executing or donating a conservation easement.

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