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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 24, 2019 03:53 PM
From: Senator Gene Yaw
To: All Senate members
Subject: Amending the Agricultural Area Security Law to Provide for Restrictions and Limitations on Preserved Farmland
In the near future, I plan to introduce 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.

Thank you for your consideration and please contact my office if you have any questions regarding this proposed legislation.

Introduced as SB145