Compliance Checklists & Rules
Pursuant to section 12-15-106(2)(a) C.R.S., the Division has established a tax credit application process to determine whether a conservation easement donation:
- is a contribution of a qualified real property interest to a qualified organization to be used exclusively for a conservation purpose, and
- is substantiated with a qualified appraisal prepared by a qualified appraiser in accordance with USPAP.
The process is guided by compliance checklists for conservation purpose and appraisal review. The checklists are used by Division staff to conduct the tax credit application review and determine compliance with specific regulatory requirements. To view the compliance checklists, please use the links below.
- Current Fee Schedule
Pursuant to section 12-15-104(3) and 12-15-106(6), C.R.S., the Division prescribes fees for conservation easement holder certification applications, tax credit certificate applications, and for optional preliminary advisory opinions of the conservation purpose and/or the appraisal of conservation easements that may result in a tax credit certificate application.
Certification fees for entities currently accredited by a national land conservation organization
- Initial Certification Application Fee - Stewardship-only: $500
- Initial Certification Application Fee - Full certification: $1,000
- Conservation Easement Holder Renewal Fee - Stewardship-only: $250
- Conservation Easement Holder Renewal Fee - Full certification : $500
Certification fees for entities not currently accredited by a national land conservation organization
- Initial Certification Application Fee - Stewardship-only: $1,000
- Initial Certification Application Fee - Full certification: $2,000
- Conservation Easement Holder Renewal Fee - Stewardship-only: $500
- Conservation Easement Holder Renewal Fee - Full certification : $1,000
Optional preliminary advisory opinions
- For an appraisal of a proposed transaction: $10,000
- For a proposed deed of conservation easement, conservation purpose, or other relevant aspect of a proposed transaction: $2,000
Tax Credit Certificate Applications
- For Donations made in 2011-2013: $305
- For Donations made on or after January 1, 2014: $1,000
- Legislative History
Colorado's conservation easement tax credit was created in 1999 and has evolved into a significant incentive and important tool for conservation.
2019: HB19-1264 increased the amount of the tax credit to $5 million per donation to be issued in increments of no more than $1.5 million per year, extended the Conservation Easement Oversight Commission and the program certifying easement holders for seven years, until July 1, 2026, and created another working group to recommend legislation or rulemaking.
2018: HB18-1291 resulted from the 2017 Sunset Review, extended the Conservation Easement Oversight Commission and the program certifying easement holders for one year, moved the program to the newly created Division of Conservation within DORA, and created a working group to recommend legislation or regulations that do not conflict with federal law.
2015: SB15-206 changed the formula for calculating the amount of the tax credit to 75% of the first $100,000 of donated conservation easement value and 50% of its donated value above $100,000, up to a maximum $1.5 million tax credit per donation.
2013: SB13-221 moved the tax credit program to the Department of Regulatory Agencies' Division of Real Estate from the Department of Revenue, and created the preapproval process for issuance of tax credits associated with conservation easements donated on or after January 1, 2014.
2011: HB11-1300 streamlined the process with the Department of Revenue for disputed tax credits.
2008: HB08-1353 reformed the tax credit process to require an application and the certification of easement holders, and created the Conservation Easement Oversight Commission.
2007: HB07-1361 increased reporting standards for easement holders.
2006: HB06-1354 changed the formula for calculating the tax credit to 50% of the donated value up to $375,000.
2000: HB00-1348 made the tax credit transferable.
1999: HB99-1155 created the non-transferable conservation easement tax credit, limited to $100,000 per donation.
- Annual Reports
Pursuant to section 12-15-106(13)(a) C.R.S., the Division creates public reports for tax credit applications. Annual reports from 2014 - 2017 and the first one half of 2018 reflect activity from when the tax credit was managed within the Division of Real Estate.