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Farmland Preferential Assessment Topic Of House Committee Hearing
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The House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee held a hearing this week on House Bill 1788 (Cutler-R-Lancaster) which would reimburse local governments with significant farm and forest lands in the Clean and Green preferential tax assessment program if they lose 10 percent or more of their property tax revenues as a result of the program.

Doug Wolfgang, Director of the Bureau of Farmland Preservation, said 8.5 million acres in 55 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties now participate in the Clean and Green program which has been a cornerstone of the state's efforts to protect farmland from development.

Dr. Thomas Newcome, Superintendent of the Octorara School District in Lancaster County, says his district loses $4.5 million per year as a result of the preferential assessment program.

The PA School Boards Association and the County Commissioners Association, both support the legislation, but also the Clean and Green Program.

Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Centre) serves as Majority Chair of the Committee and Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny) serves as Minority Chair.


10/26/2009

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