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


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 $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."