Lycoming County Assessment Office
48 West Third Street Williamsport PA 17701 (570) 327-2301
DISCLAIMER: The material contained in this booklet is intended to provide only general information concerning the Pennsylvanian Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act of 1974, as amended by Act 156 of 1998 and as amended by Act 235 of 2004. This handout is NOT intended, nor should it be interpreted by the reader, to offer any legal advice or express any legal opinion of how the Act will be interpreted under normal or special circumstances the reader may face. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU SEEK LEGAL COUNSEL IN ORDER FOR YOU TO FULLY UNDERSTAND YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THIS ACT.
This booklet has been developed under the general direction of Dr. Robert S. Barr, CPE, President , 21st Century Appraisals, Inc., 1801 Oberlin Road, Suite 210, Middletown, PA 17057, with unofficial input from county solicitors, commissioners, assessors, Department of Agriculture officials, House Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee officials, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau officials and state legislators.
2005 Version 1.0
Understanding the Clean and Green Program
COUNTY OF LYCOMING Lycoming County Courthouse 48 West Third Street Williamsport PA 17701 COMMISSIONERS Rebecca A. Burke, Chairperson Richard T. Nassberg, Vice-Chairperson Ernest P. Larson, Secretary
DIRECTOR OF ASSESSMENTS Dr. Robert S. Barr, CPE 21st Century Appraisals, Inc
CHIEF ASSESSOR James W. Carpenter, CPE Lycoming County Assessment Office
GUIDLELINES FOR UNDERSTANDING CLEAN AND GREEN
When a county implements a Clean and Green program, it places two values on each parcel of land that qualifies. These values are known as the Fair Market Value and the Use Value, better known as the Clean and Green Value. After these new values have been certified by the county, tax bills are calculated for each taxing district, using either the Fair Market Value assessment or the Use Value assessment, depending upon whether or not the property owner has enrolled his property in the Clean and Green program. The property owner’s decision to enroll should be based upon factual information about the Clean and Green law and its requirements for eligibility. Property owners should take the necessary steps to understand the Clean and Green program and make an informed decision that is in their best interest. To help property owners understand the program and its impact, officials have provided this booklet to answer the most frequently asked questions about Fair Market Value and Clean and Green.
THE CLEAN AND GREEN PROGRAM, IN GENERAL 1. WHAT IS CLEAN AND GREEN? Clean and Green – Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act, Act 319 (amended by Act 156 of 1998 and Act 235 of 2004) is a state law, authorized by the state constitution, that allows qualifying land which is devoted to agricultural and forest land use, to be assessed at a value for that use rather than Fair Market Value. The intent of Act 319 is to encourage property owners to retain their land in agricultural, open space, or forest land use, by providing some real estate tax relief.
WHO BENEFITS FROM THE CLEAN AND GREEN PROGRAM?
Everyone benefits, either directly or indirectly, from this program. Property owners benefit directly by receiving assessment relief which may result in lower taxes, as long as they do not use their land for housing developments or other land uses that are not consistent with agricultural production, open space, or forest land use. The general public benefits from the preservation of our farmland, woodlands, and the future heritage of our land.
WHAT BENEFIT IS PROVIDED TO LANDOWNERS WHO LAND QUALIFY FOR THE CLEAN AND GREEN PROGRAM? Property owners whose lands are eligible for Clean and Green receive a different tax assessment value than other homeowners. Normally, the value of property for tax purposes is based on the...