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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 5, 2014 04:41 PM
From: Senator Judith L. Schwank and Sen. Elder A. Vogel, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Clean and Green - agriculture related enterprises
In the near future, we will be re-introducing legislation to more closely align standards for Pennsylvania’s Farmland Preservation and the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forrest Land Assessment Act (Clean-and-Green) programs.

As an example of the confusion that exists now, a Berks County farm owner rented a building on his property, which is in both programs, to a landscaper for storing the landscaper's tools and mowers. He checked with farmland preservation officials who advised him that program's standards consider landscaping to be a rural, agriculture-related business entitled to the program's preferential treatment. However, because Clean-and-Green applies only to enterprises owned and operated by the actual landowner, he found himself subject to losing his Clean-and-Green protection for the leased property along with the tax reach-back provisions that would result.

Our legislation would amend Clean-and-Green to allow a landowner to lease an area to a third-party for a rural enterprise as currently defined for Farmland Preservation purposes. Since this program's inception state, counties and local governments have spent over $1 billion to help preserve farmland. Counties and the state have also been partners in implementing the Clean and Green program which has helped farmers reduce their property tax burden. This minor revision will ensure that our investment will continue to benefit farmers and assist beginning farmers who lease farms under Clean and Green. co-sponsors of SB 1288 in the last session include Senators Teplitz, Costa, Rafferty, Argall, Boscola, Smith, Yudichak, Vulakovich, and Baker.

Introduced as SB201