January 2005

Preserve open space
Davie, Florida

Minutes-January 2005

January 3, 2005

Meeting called to order by Interim Board Chair Nick Maniatis at 7:20 pm

Minutes of December 14, 2004 approved

A brief treasurer’s report was given by Michelle Bryson

Guest speaker William Snyder, Attorney, gave a very informative presentation regarding tax aspects of conservation easements; estate planning, tax incentives for families of property owners, and real estate tax possible benefits for property owners. Some of the important statements to be noted by Mr. Snyder: A conservation easement permanently limits the use and development of parcel of property. DALT is a tool for holding easements. An easement must be held by a qualified organization in order to be tax exempt. A donor should be aware that a new organization needs to be qualified thru the Internal Revenue Service to be officially given the status of 501c3 that will allow the donor toreceive an income tax deduction.

A suggestion was made by Ms. Bryson that a disclaimer be placed on all our literature regarding our status of the 501c3 application with IRS. A suggestion was made by Ms. Bryson that a disclaimer be placed on all our literature regarding our status of the 501c3 application with IRS. A conservation easement can be placed on a portion of a parcel of property – does not have to be placed on the whole parcel of a property owner. An appraisal of value needs to be done before and after the donation or easement for income tax purposes. There can be a tax advantage in giving an easement or a donation of land in partial parcels. The IRS code 170H allows income tax deduction to be carried forward over a 5 year period; i.e., the deduction amount cannot all be used in the year it is donated/given because of the owner’s taxable income, the deduction can be used for the next 4 consecutive years until depleted. IRS code 2055 – deals with the estate tax exclusion of up to $500,000 for property with a conservation easement. Mr. Snyder stated that the very wealthy people of today tend to give their wealth rather than saving it for the family. Their intention is probably to encourage children to be producers on their own. Donations can be made or conservations easements given with a family limited partnership. Ms. Paul suggested that developers might be encouraged to give conservation easements for tax benefits to their companies or corporations. As per the IRS code, to be a legitimate tax deduction, a conservation easement must yield a benefit to the public to be allowed and that should be a guideline for our Trust to accept properties. Mr. Hurley suggested that working closely with the Trust for Public Lands while DALT is new and becoming established would give assurance to a donor that their deduction would be legitimate and a well-established organization could accept the donation or easement and work with the property owner during the process. The property that has had a conservation easement placed on it or has been donated can be transferred to another charitable organization. Mr. Snyder suggested late afternoon/early evening receptions as a way to introduce professionals to DALT and the conservation easement possibilities. He also suggested Board certified speakers representatives from organizations such as the Audubon Society, etc, to attract the attention of such professionals.

After discussion of Mr. Snyder’s comments and suggestions, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm.

January 11, 2005

Meeting was was called to order at 12:08 pm at Davie Community room by Chair Nick Maniatis.

The minutes of January 3, 2005, were approved.

The new professionally printed brochures were viewed by all and the attending members were pleased.

Michael Bartlett will transcribe the video to DVD that was taken of Mr. Bill Snyder’s presentation at the January 3 meeting.

The treasurer’s report indicated that once checks written had cleared the balance would be $1,179.92.

The Committee warmly received the first very generous member donation.

Nick Maniatis also generously offered 50% of the proceeds from the sale of several large palm trees as a donation to DALT. Inquiries are welcome regarding the trees.

Marcie Nolan stated that payment had been made to the accountant for the 501c3 but she had not received a recent update from him because of the holidays.

Mike Orfanedes and Marcie Nolan enthusiastically reported on their personal inspection of a viable property in east Davie. In order to better inform the landowner of the possibilities of a conservation easement, the Projects Committee will schedule a visit to the property with the landowners and Mike will invite a representative of the TPL to also attend. An invitation will also be extended to Bill Snyder to help provide information to the landowner.

Discussion took place on the Trust’s participation in the Orange Blossom Festival on Feb 26 and 27. A request for a booth in a choice location will be personally submitted to Town staff by Linda Greck. Nick will be the point person to schedule participation times by the Trust members and oversee the duties for the event. A banner is to be priced and purchased.

Staff advised of a conference with workshops and seminars covering conservation easements, fundraising, land stewardship, etc. to be held March 17 – 19 at Chattanooga, Tennessee for anyone that might be able to attend. A separate conference will be held in Gainesville, FL, in February. Anyone interested should see Marcie Nolan for further information on both conferences.

Judy Paul asked the members to help find permanent sites for vegetable growers that have formed a co-op for farming in Davie. Currently the farming is being done successfully on leased land and the group would like to move to a permanent site.

Linda Greck advised that DALT had an appointment with the Ft. Lauderdale Art Institute to design a logo. The school will listen to the principles and ideas of the Trust and, as a class project, will design a logo, letterhead and PR material. The PR committee members Linda Greck and Judy Paul along with Nick will attend the Institute on Tuesday Feb 8 at 10 am. On March 1 the designs can be picked up for review by the Trust members. A selection is to be made from those designs.

Town staff has advised that the sandwich boards being used for the Monday night meetings can no longer be provided by the Town. DALT will have to supply their own display boards.

The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, January 25 at the Community Room 11:45 am.

Next week is scheduled to be individual sub-committee meetings arranged by the chair of each group.

Meeting was adjourned at 1:25 pm.