Virginia provides landowners with the most comprehensive natural credit opportunities.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has two state programs that assist landowners in looking to establish their land in a conservation easement.
First, while conservation easements receive federal tax deductions for the easement’s gift value, not all landowners can utilize the deduction. For the land rich, cash poor landowners, a federal deduction is meaningless if you do not have something to deduct it against. To combat this, Virginia has a Land Preservation Tax Credit that is based on the gift value of the donation. This value gets multiplied by a factor, and state tax credits are issued to the landowner. The landowner can apply these credits against their state tax liabilities or monetize the credits for income by selling them to other Virginia Taxpayers. Conservation+ helps its landowners through this process from start to finish with an overall strategy.
Second, the nutrient mitigation market is regulated by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. This program enables landowners who choose to reforest portions or all of their land to receive a corresponding Phosphorous and Nitrogen credits. Conservation+ is a turnkey operation that helps landowners from applying to planting to the selling of credits and finally to the income.
These two programs, coupled with the federal Wetland and Stream Mitigation and global carbon markets, create the foundation for the Virginia Model.