Jul 25, 2018
The Land Conservancy for Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington wants landowners in the region to think about two things that aren’t normally thought of at the same time, Canadian tax law and the beauty and diversity of their rural property.
Landowners would like to see the wild lands that they have enjoyed over the years to continue to be a place for nature and are looking for reassurance their land will not be clear cut or subdivided for cottages, are also concerned about the future tax burden on their families. That’s where the Land Conservancy comes in.
An information session is set for the Piccadilly Hall in Godfrey on Sunday, July 29th at 9:30am.
“Through an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, we have been able to assemble a team of specialists who can provide information about Canadian and American tax laws. These sessions are for both Canadians and Americans who own land with conservation value in Ontario,” explains Vicki Schmolka, president of the Land Conservancy for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington.
There are options for landowners to consider if they want to work with the Land Conservancy. Lands can be donated, and a charitable receipt for the market value of the property can be provided. The land can also be partially donated and partially sold to the Conservancy. Lands that are transferred can also include the right for the landowner to continued to use the property for a period of time. This enables them to continue to enjoy the property for a number of years without paying annual property tax.
“Both the Ontario and federal governments have several programs that provide incentives for private land owners to conserve the natural values of their land – the Ecological Gifts program, sections of the Income Tax Act, split-receipting, conservation easements. There are many ways for landowners to contribute to land conservation and protect the land they love. This may ensure their land can stay in the family as a place for nature,” said Schmolka.
“The governments have signed on to an international agreement to protect 17% of land for conservation. Ontario is only at 11% now so there is some way to go to meet the agreement commitments,” she added, “The incentives that will be explained at the workshops can help the province and the country reach their conservation goals.”
A tax expert from Grant Thornton will be on hand at the meeting, and there will be special information of Americans who own land in Canada.
The Land Conservancy’s “We need nature” booklet and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance’s handbook with tax scenarios for American landowners will be available at the meetings.
About KFL&A Conservancy Lands
The Conservancy protects 8 properties, a total land holding of 212 hectares in Frontenac and L&A. Those properties include the Meyer Woods and Arthur Nature Reserve properties, the Lee Nature Reserve on the Salmon River, and the Depot Creek Nature Reserve (formerly owned by Kim Ondaatje) near Bellrock, which is accessible to the public.
For information on the Depot Creek Reserve, go to landconservancykfla.org/visiting-depot-creek-nature-reserve.
The Conservancy also holds conservation easements on two properties, totalling 85 hectares and 990 metres of shoreline, one near Westport and the other on the Salmon River.