Monday, March 2, 2009

Greening your Title

Kate Emmings of the Islands Trust Fund was on Gabriola this weekend, to provide information on, “The Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program,” which offers an incentive for island landowners to protect natural & geological features of your property while reducing taxes.

Through the program NAPTEP, an island landowner can receive up to 65% property tax exemption on the portion of land of their property which is protected through covenants.

Properties that are eligible may include; relatively undisturbed natural area that is a good example of an important ecosystem, important natural area that provides key habitat to rare native plant or animal species, or naturally occurring special geological features.

A conservation covenant is an agreement between the landowner and conservancy group, in this case the Islands Trust Fund, which sets out specific restrictions or requirements that the landowner will uphold to ensure conservation of the covenanted portion of the land forever. Because these covenants are registered on title, they will be passed along to future homeowners in perpetuity, so once you’re in the program, there is no turning back.

On the Islands Trust Fund website at:, one can obtain information on the program, along with an application guide to calculating some of the costs & benefits of the program. The application deadline is 1 April 2009, in order to see possible property tax relief in 2010.

***There may be legal & potential tax implications – so each applicant is advised to seek independent legal & accounting advice.

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