||December 31, 2021
||December 31, 2023
|Francis Sheehan (Chair)||December 31, 2024
||December 31, 2025
|John Sherman||December 31, 2022
The volunteer, five-member Conservation Easement Review Board (CERB) operates the Conservation Easement Exemption (CEE) program for the Town of Bethlehem, which consists of the review of conservation easement agreement applications. As of a December 13, 2017 Town Board resolution, the CERB will also advise the town on all open space planning efforts. Please visit the town’s Open Space Planning page to learn more about these broader open space conservation and planning initiatives, documents and events with which the CERB is involved.
The Conservation Easement Exemption program is intended to conserve open space lands, help maintain the character of the Town, and provide financial incentives and assistance to those landowners willing to forego development and maintain open space.
If you own 5 acres or more of open space land in town, you may be able to reduce your town, county and school (currently BCSD only) taxes by as much as 90% through the town’s voluntary landowner Conservation Easement Exemption program (CEE). By agreeing to not develop your open space land, you could be saving nature while saving money. Landowner applications to the CEE are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed by the town’s Conservation Easement Review Board (CERB) and Town Board.
|Percentage Tax Exemption|
|15 – 29 years||50%|
|30 – 49 years||75%|
|50 – 75 years||85%|
The application deadline in order to meet the following year’s tax cycle is October 1st of the previous year (e.g., apply by October 1, 2017 for a 2018 tax cycle exemption).
Questions about applying for a CEE or about the CERB? Please reach out to Karen Shaw, Open Space Coordinator for the town, via email at OpenSpace@townofbethlehem.org or by calling Karen at 518-439-4955 x 1106.