The Municipal Open Space Funding Option

Enabling a Local Option for Land Conservation and Stewardship Funding

Photo Credit: George Massey

The problem:  With funding for open space acquisition and stewardship more imperiled than ever, Connecticut's cities and towns need a sustainable source of revenue for local conservation and stewardship efforts that would not impact the municipal mill rate or require additional bonding.

The solution: The Municipal Open Space Funding Option, is proposed legislation that would allow, but not require, towns and cities to establish a dedicated fund to acquire, preserve, and steward open space (including water resources) and farmland at the municipal level by enacting a conveyance fee of up to 1% paid by buyers of real property over $150,000 in value. This added source of funding would enable communities to fulfill match requirements for state or federal grant programs; cover the costly expenses associated with acquiring land (appraisals, surveys, environmental assessments, etc.); repay existing or future municipal bonds used for conservation purposes; and help cover the costs of stewardship of their town’s open space properties, water resources and farmland.

Nearby states (MA, NY, RI, PA, WV) have allowed some municipalities to enact a buyers' conveyance fee, with the income dedicated to conserving and caring for local natural areas. These programs have proven remarkably successful, resulting in the protection of thousands of acres of open space, forests, meadows and farms. With your help we can provide Connecticut towns with an opportunity to replicate those successes in their own communities. 

If your municipality is interested in working with CLCC to support the legislation so that it has the option to establish a local funding mechanism for land conservation and stewardship, please contact CLCC's Executive Director, Amy Blaymore Paterson at or at 860-614-8537.

To learn more about the Municipal Open Space Funding Option, see the links below (from 2019 legislative session):


Call to Action (homepage): 
Call to action