In Uncategorized on 05/17/2021 at 16:30

In my blogpost “No Comment – Redivivus,” 2/2/21, I promised I would follow Montgomery-Alabama River, LLC, Parkway South, LLC, Tax Matters Partner, 2021 T. C. Memo. 62, filed 5/17/21.

All y’all will recollect that my colleague KJ’s firm wanted to certify the question of whether the holder of an easement in gross had a real property interest (compensable in condemnation or a contract right (not so compensable) to the AL Supreme Court per that Court’s Rule 18. If not compensable under State law, the cutout of improvements in this conservation easement case wouldn’t matter, per Reg Section 1.170A-14(g)(6)(ii).

And pore l’il ole Tax Court is enough of a “court of the United States” to qualify for an AL Supreme Court certified answer.

Judge Albert G (“Scholar Al”) Lauber don’t need no AL Supreme Court to tell him what AL law says.

“In 1997 Alabama enacted its version of the Uniform Conservation Easement Act. That statute defines the interest of the donee of a conservation easement as the ‘nonpossessory interest of a holder in real property.’ Ala. Code sec. 35-18-1(1). Consistently with the statute, the Deed in this case explicitly grants the Foundation ‘a real property interest, immediately vested in Grantee at the time Grantor conveys this Conservation Easement to Grantee.’ Because Alabama law now treats conservation easements as property rights, the Foundation, as the holder of a conservation easement, would be entitled to compensation in an Alabama condemnation proceeding ‘in the same manner as any other [holder of a] property interest.’ See Ala. Code sec. 35-18-2(e).” 2021 T. C. Memo. 62, at pp. 10-11.

If KJ (or anybody else) wishes to comment for the record, I’ll be glad to hear from them.

Edited to add, 5/19/21: If anyone does want to comment, please use the “Comment” link at the foot hereof. That avoids all the data protection stuff, with which neither I nor the US gov’t can comply.


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