Act 319 "The Clean and Green Law" in Pennsylvania

PENNSYLVANIA FARMLAND AND FOREST LAND ASSESSMENT ACT OF 1974 or The "Clean and Green Law" is a preferential tax assessment program, that bases property taxes on use values rather than fair market values. This ordinarily results in a tax savings for landowners.  The Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the program in 1974 as a tool to encourage protection of the Commonwealth's valuable farmland, forestland and open spaces.  Currently, more than 9.3 million acres are enrolled statewide.

A Frequently Asked Question commonly asked at Sportsman Properties is, "Can I lease the hunting rights to my property if I am registered under "The Clean and Green Law"?

As per the regulations provided by Bureau of Farmland Preservation at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the answer is yes you can, provided that you ARE NOT registered as "Agricultural Reserve".

"Agricultural Reserve"is defined as "Noncommercial open space lands used for outdoor recreation or the enjoyment of scenic or natural beauty and open to the public for such use, without charge or fee, on a nondiscriminatory basis." The term includes any land devoted to the development and operation of an alternative energy system, if a majority
of the energy annually generated is utilized on the tract.

As per the regulations issued by the Bureau of Farmland Preservation at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture:

§ 137b.77. Recreational activities on agricultural use or forest reserve land.


(a) Agricultural use land. An owner of enrolled agricultural use land who performs recreational
activities on that land, or who permits or authorizes others to perform these activities, does not violate the
requirements for preferential assessment and is not responsible to pay roll-back taxes if the recreational
activity does not render the land incapable of being immediately converted to agricultural use.


(b) Forest reserve land. An owner of enrolled forest reserve land who performs recreational activities
on that land, or who permits or authorizes others to perform these activities, does not violate the
requirements for preferential assessment and is not responsible to pay roll-back taxes if the recreational
activity does not render the land incapable of producing timber or other wood products.

(c) Assessment of fees or charges by a landowner. Subsections (a) and (b) apply regardless of whether
the landowner assesses fees or charges with respect to the recreational activity or allows another to assess
these fees or charges.


(d) Recreational leases. Subsections (a) and (b) apply regardless of whether the landowner leases
enrolled land to another person for hunting or other recreational activities and receives fees or charges in
return.

To review Act 319 "The Clean and Green Law" in it's entirety, please click HERE.

 

To review Chapter 137b. "Clean and Green Regulations", please click HERE.

If you have further questions on understanding "The Clean and Green Law" and how it applies to you, please click the button below to contact Sportsman Properties.