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Landowner Guides

Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program

A Pennsylvania Tool for Preserving Farmland

The Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program enables state and county governments to purchase conservation easements on productive farms. The easements protect the farmland from non-agricultural development.

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Apr 26, 2017
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Agricultural Security Areas

Protecting Farms from Condemnation and Unreasonably Restrictive Ordinances

Within an agricultural security area (ASA), a farm is entitled to special protection from condemnation and laws and ordinances that would unreasonably restrict farming operations. Local governments in Pennsylvania may establish ASAs but only in response to petitions from landowners interested in enrolling their land in an ASA.

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Apr 26, 2017
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Clean and Green

Pennsylvania's Preferential Tax Assessment Program

Clean and Green, established by the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act, provides for lower property tax assessments of land capable of producing agricultural products and timber or providing open space for public use.

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Apr 26, 2017
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Conservation Easements

An Introduction for Private Landowners

A conservation easement limits certain uses of the land in order to accomplish expressly identified conservation objectives while keeping the land in the owner’s control. It is established by mutual agreement of a landowner and a private land trust or government.

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Jul 11, 2017
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Farm Preservation Options for Landowners

Features of Government and Private Approaches in Pennsylvania

Fifty-seven Pennsylvania counties have agricultural land preservation boards that purchase agricultural conservation easements. Sixty-five private charitable organizations accept donations of conservation easements or, less commonly, purchase them. These two paths to farmland preservation differ in many ways.

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Mar 01, 2017
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From Lawn to Meadow

Protect Water and Provide Habitat While Saving Money

Converting areas covered by turf grass to meadows can be financially rewarding and relatively simple on both public and private land. It can also deliver substantial environmental and aesthetic benefits.

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Apr 26, 2017
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Reducing Federal Estate Tax

Death triggers the possibility of a federal estate tax on the assets owned by the deceased person as of the date of death (called the "estate"). A conservation easement on the person’s land can reduce the tax owed.

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Jul 26, 2017
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Reducing Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax

In Pennsylvania, death triggers a state inheritance tax on the distribution of the deceased person’s assets (called the “estate”) to the beneficiaries of the estate. Conservation restrictions on land included in the estate can reduce the inheritance tax owed.

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Jul 26, 2017
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What Is a Land Trust?

Simply stated, a land trust is a charitable organization that acquires land or conservation easements, or that stewards land or easements, for conservation purposes. However, this simple definition leaves much to be explained.

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Apr 26, 2017
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