Legislation expands options for conservation property donations

Friday, April 12, 2013
Jim Baird addresses the state legislator.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Legislation adding nonprofit organizations (NPOs) to receive donated or willed property for nature preservation was signed into law by Governor Mike Pence on Wednesday.

Co-sponsored by District 44 State Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle), Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 367 will go into effect on July 1.

"Indiana has a vast array of historical, architectural and natural preservation sites, and individuals donating their personal property to preserve those locations should be able to do so with the organization of their choosing," Baird said.

Under this law, individuals can now donate their property to an NPO as a conservation easement or site designated to preserve nature. SEA 367 allows NPOs to assume real property bordering lakes in order to preserve water and air quality.

Additionally, this law allows NPOs to adopt property to preserve historical, archeological, architectural and other natural resource sites.

Under the current system, only governmental entities, trust organizations or charitable groups could receive real property for conservation purposes. By adding NPOs as holders of those easements, property owners will have increased flexibility of where they can donate their land.

"Some people are hesitant in willing their property for conservation purposes to a government entity, which might use those sites for land development. With this new law, people will have increased flexibility to donate their property," Baird said.

Visit www.in.gov-/legislative for more information on SEA 367.

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