Government of Nova Scotianovascotia.ca
gov.ns.caGovernment of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada
 
Municipal Affairs
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Conservation Property Tax Exemption Grant

The Province of Nova Scotia provides a Conservation Property Tax Exemption to land owners who agree to the legal and permanent protection of their ecologically significant land for conservation purposes. The Conservation Property Tax Exemption is a legislated grant under the Conservation Property Tax Exemption Act. The intent of the legislation is to help the province achieve the goal of protecting 12 per cent of Nova Scotia's land area by 2015.

The Conservation Property Tax Exemption does two things: it exempts the land owner from paying property taxes on a qualifying conservation property; and it provides a grant from the province to municipalities in lieu of taxes to compensate for lost revenue.

Each year, Nova Scotia Environment, the Department of Municipal Affairs, the Property Valuation Services Corporation, and qualifying land trusts work together to identify properties that will become eligible for the Conservation Property Tax Exemption. Once identified, those properties will continue to receive the exemption year after year unless a change of use occurs.

Grant Calculation

The grant allocation is equal to the amount that would have been paid to the municipality if the property were not classified as tax exempt.

Using data provided by the Department of Environment, the Department of Municipal Affairs calculates each municipality's grant amount. Grant payments are typically made in the last quarter of each fiscal year.

Eligible Properties

All land owners in Nova Scotia with qualifying conservation property are eligible for this tax exemption. This includes non-governmental, charitable conservation land trusts that own land acquired for conservation purposes. 

Under the Conservation Property Tax Exemption Act, a conservation property falls under one of the following categories:

  • Conservation Easement: Primarily dedicated to the protection of nature under the Conservation Easement Act. A conservation easement is a legal agreement by which land owners voluntarily restrict the use of their land for conservation purposes.
  • Ecological Site: Designated as an ecological site (nature reserve) under the Special Places Act.
  • Wilderness Area: Designated under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act.
  • Property that is owned or held primarily for the protection of nature by an eligible body within the terms of the Conservation Easements Act.

Who Can Apply

Municipal units: Municipal units are not required to apply for the Conservation Property Tax Exemption Grant. Using data provided by the Department of Environment, the Department of Municipal Affairs calculates each Municipality's grant amount. Grant payments are typically made in the last quarter of each fiscal year.

Individual land owners: Individual land owners do not need to apply for the exemption. Once identified as a conservation property, the property will continue to receive the exemption year after year unless a change of use occurs.