A working group was convened over the 2019 interim pursuant to House Bill 19-1264 to develop proposed statutes to address certain issues affecting the creation, valuation, tax treatment, and stewardship of conservation easements in the state. The bill implements the recommendations of the working group by creating a new state income tax credit (new credit) for certain taxpayers who were denied state income tax credits for conservation easements donated between 2000 and 2013 (original credit) if the federal internal revenue service allowed a federal income tax deduction for the same donation. The amount of the new credit is based upon the amount of the original credit that could have been claimed at the time of the original donation based upon the value of the donation accepted by the internal revenue service. The amount of the new credit is reduced by any amount that was allowed to be claimed against Colorado income tax or otherwise reinstated to the claimant of the original credit. The new credit is not refundable but may be carried forward or transferred in the same manner as original credits. New credits allowed count against a portion of the existing cap on the total amount of original conservation easement credits that may be claimed each year. The department of revenue is required to make information about the new credit available online.
The bill establishes a process for applying to the division of conservation to claim the new credit. If the original credit that was denied was transferred to another taxpayer as transferee, the bill provides a process for all parties to the transaction to submit a mutual application to claim the new credit or, if there is objection, an ombudsman process to resolve disputes about the distribution of the credit.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)