Cost/Benefit Analysis of Preservation vs. Development

The question is often asked, "Is land preservation cost effective?"

The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES!

Preserving property is financially advantageous to both the landowner and the Township when a property is eased.  The landowner still owns the property, and the property has not lost any of its value.  A fair price for the development rights has been paid, and the owner still may receive a tax deduction.  In addition, the fair market value of the property (the value on which inheritance taxes are based), has been lowered, so the easement can be beneficial in lowering estate taxes, making it possible to keep large properties and farms in the family.

Open space is also financially advantageous to the Township and its residents.  Property taxes from new development never cover the cost of improved infrastructure and municipal services required by new residents (roads, police, fire protection, schools).  For the average taxpayer, the cost of development to the community - looking only at school taxes - is over two and one half times the cost of borrowing to preserve open space.  New development also harms our natural resources as we lose prime soils and woodlands and challenge our already fragile water supply.

Once land is eased, it remains open and undeveloped forever.