Michigan farmer Ken Engle wanted to keep his 300-acre spread of vineyards and fruit trees with the exquisite view of Lake Michigan in his family forever. He wasn't sure he could afford it.
"We're under very high development pressure in this area," said Engle, 69, who lives in Williamsburg, Mich., near Traverse City.
Yet thanks in part to a little-known federal tax incentive for land conservation donations, ranchers and farmers like Engle can harvest income tax savings on 100 percent of their annual income for 16 years. All other donors can deduct up to 50 percent.
He can pocket the savings or reinvest in his business while at the same time preserving his land for future generations.