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Clean & Green Program

The Clean and Green as it is commonly known, is actually ACT 319. The purpose of ACT 319 is to provide a real estate tax benefit to owners of agricultural or forest land by taxing that land on the basis of its "use value" rather that its "Market Value." This act provides preferential assessment to any individuals who agree to maintain their land solely devoted to agricultural use, agricultural reserve, or forest reserve use. To know whether or not you are eligible for ACT 319 read the below general outline of the rules and regulations of ACT 319.



I. Land Definition

A. Capable of producing food or fiber

  1. Tillable - worked or fallow

  2. Pasture - permanent and capable of producing grasses

  3. Residue - all other lands

B. Includes lakes, marshes and waste lands.


II. Qualified Land Classes (3)

A. Agriculture (A)

  1. Ten (10) acres or more contiguous land.

  2. Farmed preceding three (3) years.

  3. Evidence of such use and capabilities from soil surveys, etc.

  4. No contiguous lands covered by same deed can be reserved out.

  5. Notify Assessor of change of use within 30 days.

B. Agriculture (B)

  1. Less than ten (10) acres contiguous.

  2. Farmed preceding three (3) years.

  3. Potential capability of $2,000 gross income yearly.

  4. Evidence of $2,000 gross income for each three (3) preceding years.

  *NOTE: Applicant under this section must produce evidence of $2,000 gross income from preceding year by July 1 of the current assessment year to qualify for preferential assessment of the following year.

C. Agriculture Reserve

  1. Ten (10) acres or more contiguous land.

  2. Sixty percent (60%) of the land must be in soil classes one through six and capable of future farming, if needed.

  3. Non-commercial use (no income or profit from any use of the land).

  4. Open to the public free of charge on a nondiscriminating basis as to sex, age, nationality, etc.

  5. Cannot be posted "No Trespassing".

  6. No contiguous lands covered by same deed can be reserved out.

  *NOTE: Use of the lands by the public must be permitted for passive activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, bird watching, etc. The County will prepare a directory and a display map showing the owners and locations of all lands entered under this section of the Act.

  7. Notify Assessor of change of use within 30 days.

D. Forest Reserve

  1. Ten (10) acres or more contiguous land.

  2. Capable of producing timber or wood product.

  3. Must produce in excess of 25 cubic feet per acre of annual growth.

  4. The County Assessor may require such documentation as he deems necessary to substantiate that the land in the application is capable of producing timber or other wood products. The documentation may include, but is not limited to, any of the following: photographs, a survey plan, income tax records, an inventory of trees by species and size, sales invoices or products sold, sales invoices from trees planted, an Affidavit, etc.

  5. No contiguous lands covered by same deed can be reserved out.

  6. Notify Assessor of change of use within 30 days.



III. How to Convey Land

A. What must I do if I separate or split off or transfer a portion of my land under tax assessment under the Act?

  1. The County Assessor must be given at least 30 days written notice of a transfer, separation or split off. The notice shall include the following information:

    a. Name and address of the person(s), partnership(s) or company(ies) to whom you are conveying the land.

    b. Date of the proposed transfer, separation or split off.

    c. The amount of land to be transferred, separated or split off.

    d. The present use of the land to be transferred, separated or split off.

    e. The date of the original application for tax assessment under the Act.

    f. Any previous transfers, separations or split offs of tax assessed land under the Act from the original tract.

    g. The intended use to which the land when transferred, separated or split off will be applied.

  2. Notification forms for proposed separations, transfers or split offs can be obtained from your County Assessor.

B. Can I transfer all of my land and does it still remain under the tax assessment under the Act?

  1. You can convey all your land to another person and the land will still retain the tax assessment under the Act, as long as there is no change to an ineligible use.

C. Can I separate my land and does the land still remain under the tax assessment under the Act?

  1. You can separate your land into two or more tracts, as long as the eligible use continues on each tract. Each tract so formed must also be ten contiguous acres, or it must produce an anticipated yearly gross income of $2,000 or more. If one of the owners of the tract that you formed in the separation changes his tract to an ineligible use within seven (7) years of the date of the separation, then that owner is liable for all the rollback taxes and interest on the original tract of land that you separated. After seven (7) years from the date of the separation, an owner of a tract that you formed can change to an ineligible use and be liable only for the roll-back taxes on his tract.

D. Can I split off a portion of my land and still retain the Act 319 tax assessment?

  1. You are restricted to be following requirements:

    a. The tract of land that you split off must not exceed two acres annually.

    b. The use of the split off land must be in residential, agricultural, or forest reserve. The person to whom you conveyed the split off tract must occupy the residential dwelling that would be constructed on this land.

    c. The total amount of split off tracts of land cannot exceed ten percent (10%) or ten acres, whichever is the lesser, of your entire tract of land under a tax assessment under the Act.

E. What happens to my tax assessment under the Act at my death?

  1. If your land is separated among your beneficiaries who are considered Class A for Pennsylvania inheritance tax purposes, then the tax assessment under the Act remains with the separated tracts. If one of the beneficiaries of your estate changes to an ineligible use, then that person is liable for the roll-back taxes on the tract held by him.

  2. Class A beneficiaries are defined as grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, husband, wife, lineal descendants, and wife or widow, and husband or widower, of a child. Lineal descendants can be further defined as all children of the natural parents and their descendants, adopted descendants and their descendants, stepchildren, and children and their descendants of the natural parent who are adopted by his or her spouse. Lineal descendants do not include descendants of stepchildren or adopted children of their descendants in the natural family.

F. What happens to my tax assessment under the Act if a portion of my land is condemned by the Federal, State or local government?

  1. If any or all of your land is condemned by a governmental entity, the condemnation will not affect the land that you retain or subject you to roll-back taxes on any part of your land. You will also not be subject to roll-back taxes on the condemned portion.

  2. If you reach an agreed settlement to sell any or all of your land to any entity that possesses the power of condemnation, then that sale will not subject you to roll-back taxes on the land you retain or the land you sell.



IV. Filing Deadline

Completed applications for enrolling in Act 319 must be received in the Clinton County Assessment Office on or before June 1 to be considered for tax assessment under the Act for the next year.

The information listed herein is an abbreviated version of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Rules and Regulations for Implementation of Act 319, The Clean and Green Act. A copy of full rules and regulations may be obtained from the Clinton County Assessment Office.