Conservation Easement Tax Credit Abuse: Recommendations for Colorado Policy Makers

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science

Organizational Unit

University College, Environmental Policy and Management


Environmental Policy & Mgmt

First Advisor

Barron Douglas Farquhar


Colorado, Conservation easement tax credits, Conservation easements, Tax credits


Inflated real estate appraisals used to exploit Colorado's conservation easement tax credit program have cost the State millions of dollars in lost revenue. The current Colorado Department of Revenue process for addressing the overvaluation of tax credits does not specifically address issues unique to abuses of the conservation easement tax credit. An analysis of proposed policies was conducted to identify how the State could best resolve conservation easement tax issues. Four key components of a comprehensive policy to address past abuses of Colorado's tax credit were identified: 1) recovering lost tax revenue, 2) providing financial relief to landowners, 3) allowing for the continued use of tax incentives and, 4) addressing claimed and unclaimed credits.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

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