One of the most effective legal tools available for ensuring preservation of a structure is the granting of an easement. Columbus Landmarks is happy to help you explore whether an easement is right for you and your property.
What is an Easement?
Essentially, an easement allows a property owner to give away one of his/her property ownership rights to a nonprofit organization. That organization is then responsible for making sure the historic structure is not inappropriately altered or demolished. The organization has the responsibility to ensure that the building is forever maintained in a way that preserves its historic and architectural significance. Easements can apply to as much of the property as desired, both inside and out, and can protect open space as well as a building.
Beyond ensuring preservation of the structure, the donation of a preservation easement is considered a charitable contribution for federal income tax purposes. The value of an easement ranges from 10 to 14% of the market value of the property, depending on the extent of the property protected and the replacement value of the portion covered by the easement.
The IRS requires the property to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places in order for the easement to be deductible. Properties located in a National Register-designated historic district are also eligible, provided they are deemed as contributing to the character of the district. Click here for information on the National Register of Historic Places.
Owners of easement-protected properties can also have their property taxes adjusted by appealing to their county auditor. This is a benefit not only to the original easement donor, but also to future owners.
How to Apply
Those interested in donating a preservation easement should contact Columbus Landmarks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614.221.0227 for more information.
Technical Assistance for Property Owners
The best way to save a building is to own it and take good care of it. Sometimes the responsibility falls to others. Either way, Columbus Landmarks staff is ready to assist property owners in finding solutions to problems when they arise.
Columbus Landmarks staff and volunteers are available to assist people when historic preservation-related needs arise. Columbus Landmarks offers guidance to persons seeking to:
• preserve architecturally significant buildings and environments
• strengthen traditional city centers and inner-ring suburbs
• encourage the sustainable development of the central Ohio region
Columbus Landmarks staff and its many volunteers provide information services, educational programs and technical assistance to people and organizations pursuing historic preservation opportunities.
Columbus Landmarks maintains an extensive collection of site-specific clippings as well as publications on many preservation topics.
Columbus Landmarks' staff is eager to help. If you, your organization, or your community need advice about an historic preservation project or issue, please contact email@example.com or 614.221.0227.