Pennsylvania Farm Laws Hijacked By Developers

Designed to stop sprawl and preserve farmland, two state tax breaks to farmers are actually fueling further expansion. Much 'farmland' is already developed, yet still gets write-offs.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's investigation of local 'farmland' found some startling facts: of the thousands of acres listed as farmland on the tax rolls, only six percent is owned by farmers. In fact, of the 75,000 acres of 'farmland' getting tax benefits in Allegheny County, the Dept. of Agriculture's figures only 33,000 acres are actual used for farming. The rest of the land is already developed or owned by real estate groups. The result is millions of dollars in lost revenue through tax breaks to upper-income suburbs. Developers can pave over every acre without penalty because, under the same laws, the value of farmland cannot be reassessed until subdivided for sale.

Thanks to Jeffrey Goodman

Full Story: Not only farmers reap farm tax breaks

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $50.
$369 includes free shipping!