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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 22, 2018 11:48 AM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Updating the Clean and Green Act
New evidence was recently brought to my attention through a local newspaper investigation that there are a prevalent number of property owners enjoying reduced tax assessments under the outdated and lax parameters of the Clean and Green program (Act 319). Property owners throughout the Lehigh Valley and across the Commonwealth – from country estates, to golf courses, to quarries and other non-agricultural businesses – are qualifying for substantial property tax breaks under this decades-old law.

It needs to be updated to ensure the program’s integrity, and accurately reflect the pace of inflation for its agriculture-related income components.

The underlying merits of the Clean and Green program are laudable and widely supported, as they protect and preserve green spaces. But the legislature needs to shore up the requirements in order to discontinue the shift of the property tax burden from wealthy estate owners taking advantage of this potential loophole. Meanwhile, local taxpayers and working-class families are continuing to be responsible for making up the difference.

In the near future I plan to introduce a bill amending Act 319 so the program continues to be used as it was originally intended, with the protection of farmers and agriculture as part of its critical nature. It is my hope that you will join me in support of this legislative effort.

Please contact my Harrisburg office with questions at 717-787-4236.