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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 20, 2022 11:34 AM
From: Representative Melissa L. Shusterman
To: All House members
Subject: Help Counties Raise Revenue for Open Space Preservation
Each year, millions of acres of open space are lost in the United States, leading to increased flooding, poorer water quality due to watershed damage, an increase in visual pollution, and diminished outdoor recreation options.[1] Unfortunately, it can be challenging for local and county governments in our state to reap the benefits of open space preservation due to tax limitations. Pennsylvania law specifically prohibits counties from imposing open space taxes.
Each county faces its own unique circumstances and problems. Because of that, our laws should give counties the flexibility to raise revenues in a way that best serves residents and the land that sustains and enriches their lives. My legislation changes existing law to give counties the freedom to decide whether an open space tax is imposed, how that tax works, and where the revenue is used. Under the law, the people in the county must vote to pass a referendum on the tax before it takes effect, so the taxpayers will ultimately have the final say.
At a time when sustainability efforts are crucial to our long-term quality of life and survival, we should be making every attempt to remove barriers to this work. Please join me empowering counties to preserve the value of their environmental resources by signing onto this proposal.


Introduced as HB913