Conservation easement ruling

As investigations continue into faulty tax returns in Colorado regarding the conservation easement tax deduction, a US tax court judge has given a ruling on one land contribution.

The judge ruled that Nick Hughs, a Gunnison County rancher, claimed an inflated value of his easement in 2000. Hughs said his donation was worth $3.1 million, while IRS engineers claimed the donation should be valued between zero and $238,135. In a win for the conservation community, the judge ruled that the charitable contribution was worth $2 million, thus setting a precedent that easements do affect propety values, and land owners should be rewarded for limiting development of their land.

For more information, read the article in the Denver Post.

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