Allow conservation easement credit buyers to recoup their losses

Photo: Tabor impact $2.73

This article is part of our look at potential refunds from the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. Learn more about how TABOR works here.

Title: SB15-130 Assist Conservation Easement Tax Credit Buyers

Sponsors: Sen. John Kefalas (D-Fort Collins)

Status: Introduced and assigned to the Senate Finance Committee on Jan. 28. The Finance Committee killed the bill on Feb. 10.

What the bill would have done: Create a tax credit to help people or organizations that bought conservation easement tax credits before 2014, if the Department of Revenue later revoked their credit.

The backstory: Conservation easements are legally binding agreements to limit future development of a property. Property owners who enter these agreements can claim lucrative tax credits as a reward. Many then sell those credits to a third party.

Over the years, DOR has disputed the assessed value of some conservation easements, leaving anyone who purchased the property's credit unable to claim it. This new tax credit would allow those third-party owners to recoup their losses.

How it would have affected your refund: This bill would have reduced the average taxpayer refund by $2.73 in fiscal year 2015-16.