By way of supplement to your article entitled
''Rules on Donating
Easements'' (Dec. 11) relative to official scrutiny of claimed
tax benefits on
preservation easements, it might be of interest to know of the
of the Town of Ramapo with its pioneering Development Easement
Program in the late 60's.
In 1967, the Town of Ramapo adopted as an
affirmative program the
preservation of open space by the solicitation of development
from owners of residentially zoned property.
At the time, I was the Supervisor of the Town
and primary promoter of the
In 1974, a year after I retired from the office
of Supervisor, the town
commissioned me to do a retrospective analysis of the various
programs that had been developed with little precedent during my
administration. The Development Easement Acquisition Commission
was rewritten by me and readopted in 1974 based on the
gained in its administration over the preceding five years.
What became evident through confirmed sales of
by the easements during that period was that there was no
attrition on the resale value of the encumbered properties.
In the absence of experience, we felt justified
when the program was
initiated in adopting an arbitrary scale of value depreciation
related to the
number of years the property was voluntarily encumbered.
By 1974, the arbitrary scale of depreciations
could no longer be justified
and much more limited discounting of values was adopted instead.
program continues but on a much reduced scale. JOHN F. MCALEVEY,