After you’ve protected your land, do you still have to pay property taxes on it? That depends on the technique you’ve chosen.
If you donate or sell land, you’re no longer responsible for property taxes or other management duties. Many landowners come to appreciate this as they grow older.
If you donate land with a reserved life estate, you continue to be responsible for paying property tax. It’s part of the continued rights and responsibilities you have retained with lifetime use of the land.
A conservation easement reduces your property’s fair market value, so you’d expect it would also reduce your property taxes. Unfortunately, Iowa has no consistent laws on this practice. Many Iowa counties do not adjust property taxes for conservation easements. If you’re considering an easement donation, you may want to speak in advance with your county tax office to explain why reduced property taxes make sense to you. In some Iowa counties there are few or no donated conservation easements, so this may be a new concept to local officials.