Since 1988 the vision of the founding fathers of the Gates Mills Land Conservancy has become a reality through the generosity of Villagers who have donated funds and land or granted conservation easements. In addition, the Village Citizens have renewed a 1-mill tax levy to support this conservancy movement. This tax support is unique in our country and has been renewed by the voters on four occasions in 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and again in 2016. The combination of the individual donations and tax levy funds will continue to make it possible for the GMLC to protect additional parcels of land.
The Conservancy's financial resources are comprised of three groups of funds.
The levy fund
Levy Funds are restricted and are used only for purchase of land, expenses associated with acquisition of deed restrictions or conservation easements and stewardship expenses associated with such land and conservation easements. Money originally taken from Operating Funds for appraisals and legal fees can be reimbursed from Levy Funds once land being considered is actually owned, deed restricted, or conserved. The money in these funds comes from a 1-mill tax levy. The current levy generates approximately $200,000 per year.
the operating fund
Operating Funds are generally not restricted. They are used primarily for operating expenses such as rent, office expenses, administrative support costs, accounting fees, insurance not directly protecting conserved land, and land appraisals and legal fees for land being considered, but not owned, deed restricted, or conserved by the Conservancy. These funds may also be used to purchase land and for stewardship. The money in these funds comes primarily from membership dues, grants and special gifts.
The Stewardship fund
Stewardship Funds are specific restricted funds required for LTA Accreditation. Money in these funds comes from Levy Funds. These Funds are designated for the defense of the land owned by the Conservancy and land upon which the Conservancy holds easements or deed restrictions.
An independent auditor, in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States, audits Gates Mills Land Conservancy financial statements annually.