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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 25, 2019 01:27 PM
From: Representative Kate A. Klunk
To: All House members
Subject: Farmland Preservation
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation that will amend the Agricultural Area Security Law to address provisions for farmland preservation. The current agricultural easement program explicitly allows for the creation of one additional farmstead residence. Sometimes, farmers do not need this additional residence and wish to further reduce the value of the property for a tax write-off or to make it easier to pass on to the next generation at a lower value. Current policy of the Department of Agriculture does not allow for the extinguishment of this right to an additional farmstead.

My legislation will allow for the voluntary relinquishment of the right to construct a residence. I believe that the farmer should be allowed to exercise his or her judgment, based on individual circumstances.

Additionally, the law currently provides for the subdivision of preserved farmland for the purpose of constructing a principal residence for the landowner or an immediate family member. There are situations where a residence already exists on the property, but that existing residence cannot be subdivided because it’s not being constructed. This legislation will clarify that a subdivision for the purpose of a residence is permitted, regardless of whether it exists or needs to be constructed.

This legislation was introduced last session as House Bill 1550, which passed the House unanimously.

I would appreciate your consideration in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB370