In 1997, the Virginia General Assembly created the Open-Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund (PTF) to help cover the costs of conveying an open-space easement. Funding for the program varies year to year. Some examples of costs that can be covered are fees charged by VOF, attorneys, and appraisers, as well as the cost of securing public access. In addition, localities throughout the Commonwealth may apply for assistance from PTF to support Purchase of Development Rights programs.
Each proposed conservation or open-space easement is evaluated for its conservation values by VOF’s staff and board of trustees. If the property is deemed suitable for a VOF easement, then it qualifies for PTF funding. However, because PTF funding is limited each year, VOF will consider other factors, such as the landowner’s income, whether the property is a multi-generational farm, whether the easement is providing public access for recreation or education, and so on. The greater the need, and the greater the public benefits of the easement, the more likely the landowner will be able to access PTF funding to defray project costs.
Priority is given to applicants with family farms and who demonstrate significant financial need, or landowners who are granting permanent public access to their land for recreation or education. Financial need is established by submitting federal income tax forms for the most recent two years for which taxes have been filed. As of 2016, priority funding will be given to landowners with an average income of $63,000 or less. Landowners with incomes up to $100,000 may be eligible for reduced grants. The recommended requests provide assistance for the Baseline Documentation Report (BDR) Preparation or Review fee and the costs of legal and appraisal services.
|Annual Income||Recommended Request||Estimated to Cover|
|Up to $63,000||$10,000||100% BDR fee plus legal & appraisal costs|
|$63,000-$79,000||$6,500||100% BDR fee plus approximately 50% other costs|
|$79,000-$100,000||$1,500 or $750||50% BDR fee only|
Download and fill out a PTF Cost-Only Application from our Easement Document Library. Applications will be reviewed at each board of trustees meeting for approval.
Please read the Preservation Trust Fund tax info and disclaimer sheet for additional information on the PTF program, with Hypothetical Scenarios for Calculating Preservation Trust Fund (PTF) Cost/Benefit. This document can also be found in our library.
If interested in applying for PTF funding, we recommend contacting your nearest VOF Office for more information.