Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
Since 1987

As of January 1, 2024, the Rensselaer Land Trust has merged with the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. For all questions regarding donations, events, land, or other matters, please visit or call 518-712-9211. For questions about the merger, use extension 101 to speak with Jim Bonesteel. You can expect a new name and logo for our merged organization by Spring / Summer 2024 and a new website by the end of the year!

easement landingThe New York State Conservation Easement Tax Credit (CETC) offers New York taxpayers whose land is restricted by a conservation easement an annual New York State income tax credit of up to 25% of the school district, county and town real estate taxes paid on the restricted land, up to an annual maximum of $5,000 per taxpayer. Unlike a tax deduction, which is an adjustment to taxable income, a tax credit offsets a taxpayer's tax liability on a dollar­for­dollar basis. The CETC is a REFUNDABLE income tax credit, which means that if a landowner's tax credit exceeds the amount he or she owes in state income taxes, the landowner gets a check for the difference. The CETC is available to individual landowners, estates, trusts, partnerships and certain corporations as long as the land they own is restricted by a perpetual and permanent conservation easement.

To qualify for this tax credit, the land must be located in New York State and the conservation easement must be held by a public or private conservation agency. The easement must serve to protect open space, biodiversity or scenic, natural, agricultural, watershed, or historic preservation resources by limiting or restricting development, management and/or use of the property.

They DO NOT APPLY to non­conservation easements, such as utility or transportation rights-of-­way, etc. Nor do they apply to conservation easements that were created for the purpose of obtaining subdivision or building permits or to easements that were required as mitigation. You can claim a tax credit for each of the qualified easements on your land up to a total of $5,000 per year for all of them.

In order to claim a CETC, a landowner will need the following information:

  • Location of the easement­restricted property (it should appear on the easement).
  • Date the easement was conveyed.
  • The county the easement was recorded in, the liber and page instrument number or control number.
  • The DEC identification number assigned to the easement.
  • County, town and school district property taxes paid on the easement­restricted land.

The landowner claims the CETC when filing his or her state income tax returns:

  • Individual landowners file the new Form IT­242 with their personal NYS income tax returns: IT­201 for NY residents and IT­203 for nonresidents and part­year residents.
  • Estates and trusts file Form IT­242 with Form IT­205 to show each beneficiary's share of the credit.
  • Partnerships file Form IT­242 with Form IT­204, showing the total amount of the credit.
  • Corporations file Form CT­242 with Form CT­3 or CT­3­A.