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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: April 24, 2013 11:25 AM
From: Representative Marcy Toepel
To: All House members
Subject: Fixed payment for tax-exempt forest land to Perkiomen Valley School District and Methacton School District
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation amending Act 49 of 1929 allowing for the Perkiomen Valley School District and the Methacton School District to annually charge the Commonwealth for a fixed payment for tax-exempt forest land that bisects the two districts.

Act 49 allows for this fixed payment as long as the Commonwealth-owned forest lands are leased at 90% or more of their fair market value for residential or commercial purposes, excluding agricultural operations, and consist of 75 or more leased parcels of land. Currently, Evansburg State Park, located in the two school districts, is the only DCNR-owned property that meets these requirements.

The number of leased parcels that meets the criteria for payment at Evansburg State Park was decreased to 65 in recent years with no intention of adding additional parcels. As a result, payments to the school districts have been refused, immediately having a negative financial impact on each school district.

Although requests for payments over the years have exceeded actual payments, the subsidy has been considerable; over $3 million over the past 10 years. To ensure these payments can continue, legislation is required to amend Act 49.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

Introduced as HB1359