A preservation easement generally protects all open-air elevations of a
structure. By donating an easement, the owner agrees to maintain the
building and follow federal guidelines if they wish to make changes to
the outside of the property. They further agree to obtain the approval
of the easement-holding organization before making alterations to the
property. Because the easement lasts in perpetuity, it binds future
owners of the property as well.
The easement-holding organization, which legally enforces compliance
with the easement, must be a qualified historic preservation
organization and must have the resources and the commitment to manage
and enforce the easements. Landmarks Illinois monitors each of its
easement properties on an annual basis and when necessary takes steps to
ensure compliance with the easement.
PRESERVATION EASEMENTS AND CHARITABLE DONATION DEDUCTIONS
Recognizing that the story of America’s heritage is largely told through
its architectural legacy, in 1980, Congress passed legislation to
provide a Federal income tax deduction to owners of historic properties
who donate preservation easements to qualified organizations. Eligible
owners are those with structures that contribute to locally designated,
or National Register listed historic districts or properties
individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Congress reaffirmed the preservation easement program in 2006. Owners
who donate a preservation easement to a qualifying nonprofit
organization may be eligible for a charitable donation income tax
deduction based upon an independent appraisal of the value of the
easement. The determination of the allowable tax deduction is solely
within the purview of the Internal Revenue Service. Prospective donors
are encouraged to seek professional advice to determine the tax and
legal consequences of a donation.
CONTACT LANDMARKS ILLINOIS FOR MORE INFORMATION
Director of Grants and Easements