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  1. #1
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    Default Pennsylvania Clean and Green Tax Program

    I have had it with taxes. My assessed value increased by a factor of 2.5 in one shot and I haven't done anything to the property since I bought it 3 years ago and it's just wooded mountainside with no structures. The county is really pushing the Clean and Green option but it sounds too good to be true. It will lower my value by a factor of 19. I was never planning on subdividing the property and the only negative I'm seeing is in selling the property. If I couldn't find a buyer who wants to keep it in the program then I would have to pay the difference in the taxes for a maximum of 7 years in arrears plus 6% interest. To add insult to injury I get no benefits because I'm an out of state owner. I don't even use Pennsylvania roads because I enter the property from another state.

    Is anyone in this program or have any suggestions on what to do? I just can't handle this much of a tax increase on unimproved property.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pennsylvania Clean and Green Tax Program

    I live in PA and own 345 acres which are in the Clean & Green program. It has saved me many thousands over the years. I have no intention of subdividing the land. For me it made the difference between keeping the land or selling it.
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  3. #3
    New Member pineridge03's Avatar
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    May 2012
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    Huntingdon Co, PA
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    NH TN70A

    Default Re: Pennsylvania Clean and Green Tax Program

    By the description of the land it seems the land is more or less a recreational property, I would think if it was in clean & green and you were to sell it the reduced taxes would be a draw to a buyer. We have 3 separately deeded pieces of ground, 1 acre with our home, 150 acres with farm buildings, fields/pasture/meadow & timber and 125 acres of mountain ground. The 2 larger parcels are in clean & green. The prior owners enrolled the ground in the program from its beginning and the combined tax bill is about 40% less than the taxes we pay on our home with 1 acre. There are stipulations with the use of the property for business & limitations as to the size of lots if you were to subdivide and limits on the # lots that can be sold/year. I think it would be to your advantage to look into the program.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pennsylvania Clean and Green Tax Program

    Thanks for the information Storm and Pineridge. Yeah, 150 acres and I was planning on building a retirement home but now I'm on the fence with that idea and this tax increase gave me thoughts of selling the property. It almost seemed like a setup and I just didn't trust what the guy was telling me. They will deduct 1 acre if I decide to build and I would have to pay back taxes on the 1 acre.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pennsylvania Clean and Green Tax Program

    I may be mistaken but I think that if you were to build they would not reclaim the taxes on that 1 acre. For sure they will pull it out of the program for future taxes. I did have some friends that did just that and they never mentioned anything about having to pay back taxes on that 1 acre. Of course things could have changed.
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  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Pennsylvania Clean and Green Tax Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm56 View Post
    I may be mistaken but I think that if you were to build they would not reclaim the taxes on that 1 acre. For sure they will pull it out of the program for future taxes. I did have some friends that did just that and they never mentioned anything about having to pay back taxes on that 1 acre. Of course things could have changed.
    The person at the tax office told me I didn't have to repay the taxes on the 1 acre but the information sheet that he gave me said that I would have to. I may have been reading it wrong however. Either way, not a big deal and I'm feeling much better about this program from the feedback so far.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member Swiftriver's Avatar
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    Western Mountains of Maine
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    2010 Kubota B3200

    Default Re: Pennsylvania Clean and Green Tax Program

    We have a program in Maine called Tree Growth Be Woods Wise - Maine's Tree Growth Tax Law that sounds about the same. It's the only way we could afford the taxes on our 110 acre lot with river frontage. We kept 2 acres (town minimum lot size) out for our house. We have to update a forest management and harvest plan every 10 years. Of course like everything else there are people that abuse it, mostly on the coast. The minimum lot size to enroll is 10 acres and I think that needs to be increased to cut down on some of the problems.

  8. #8
    Gold Member Mike_Kanzer's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    Chester county, PA
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    Kubota L3830 HST, JD Gator 855D

    Default Re: Pennsylvania Clean and Green Tax Program

    I have 36 acres in chester county, pa and have been in act 319 (Clean and green) since we bought it. It has saved me alot of money. They tax your land value seperately from the value of structures on the property. Act 319 reduces the assessment on the value of the land portion. I have saved about 35-40% a year. If you sold to a developer they would be responsible for the back taxes if they chose to develop the land and take it out of 319. I would definitely go for it if you plan on keeping the property.

  9. #9
    New Member pineridge03's Avatar
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    Huntingdon Co, PA
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    NH TN70A

    Default Re: Pennsylvania Clean and Green Tax Program

    I don't believe you should have to pay the back taxes if you build a home we didn't. We subdivided 37 acres with the original farmhouse and barn and was going to add our home on 1 acre back onto the farm deed and was told they factor in a base acre for a residence whether it's there or not so there supposedly wasn't any tax savings to add the residential lot. If you build a house, the assessment on the base acre will increase but the remaining 149 acres should be at the Clean & Green rate.

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    nicholson, pa
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    John Deer Lt160

    Default Re: Pennsylvania Clean and Green Tax Program

    I have 20 acres, with most of it in clean and green.
    Its not a retroactive thing where if you build they come at you for back taxes. Its to cut down on junkyards and landfills. Its one of my issues with the pipeline people, if the pipeline goes in my taxes would go up.
    the local dept of ag can fill you in more but its a quality easy to use program.

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