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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 29, 2013 01:11 PM
From: Senator Elder A. Vogel, Jr. and Sen. Dominic Pileggi
To: All Senate members
Subject: Co-Sponsorship: Tax Exemption for High Tunnels/Hoop Houses
In the near future, Senator Pileggi and I intend to introduce legislation that will amend Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) to ensure that High Tunnels or Hoop Houses are not considered permanent structures and categorized as real estate for tax purposes.

High tunnels, or hoop houses, are steel pipe frames covered by plastic and are used by all areas of agriculture for plant protection, livestock housing, and storage. These unheated tunnels can help market growers extend their growing season so that they can improve the profitability of their farms. Taxing these non permanent structures directly conflicts with the purpose of improving the grower’s profitability by constructing low-cost high tunnels.

Studies have shown that in colder climates similar to the Northeast, growers can start their season 4 to 8 weeks earlier in the spring and extend the season 2 to 5 weeks later in the fall. Season extension works for many crops including vegetables, small fruit, herbs, and tree fruit. These techniques keep fresh Pennsylvania produce on our store shelves and reduce our need to import fresh products from overseas. Additionally, high tunnel greenhouses provide crops better protection from weather, diseases and pests than field grown crops, thereby reducing soil disturbance, additional fertilizers and pest control chemicals.

Introduced as SB638