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[30 Pa.B. 4573]

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APPLICATION PROCESS

§ 137b.41.  Application forms and procedures.

   (a)  Standardized application form required. A county shall require a landowner seeking to apply for preferential assessment under the act to make that application on a current ''Clean and Green Valuation Application'' form--a uniform preferential assessment application form developed by the Department. The Department will provide an initial supply of these forms to a county upon request. The county assessor shall maintain an adequate supply of these forms.

   (b)  Application form and worksheets. A landowner seeking to apply for preferential assessment under the act shall complete a Clean and Green Valuation Application. The county assessor shall complete the appropriate sections of the current ''Clean and Green Valuation Worksheet'' form for each category of eligible land described in the application. The Department will provide an initial supply of these forms to a county upon request.

   (c)  Obtaining an application and reviewing this chapter. A landowner seeking preferential assessment under the act may obtain an application form and required worksheets from the county board of assessment office. A county assessor shall retain a copy of this chapter at the county board of assessment office, and shall make this copy available for inspection by any applicant or prospective applicant.

   (d)  Required language. An application for preferential assessment shall contain the following statement:

The applicant for preferential assessment hereby agrees, if the application is approved for preferential assessment, to submit 30 days notice to the county assessor of a proposed change in use of the land, a change in ownership of a portion of the land or of any type of division or conveyance of the land. The applicant for preferential assessment hereby acknowledges that, if the application is approved for preferential assessment, roll-back taxes under the act in 72 P. S. § 5490.5a may be due for a change in use of the land, a change in ownership of a portion of the land, or any type of division or conveyance of the land.

   (e)  Additional information. A county assessor may require an applicant to provide additional information or documentation necessary to substantiate that the land is eligible for preferential assessment. A county assessor requiring additional information shall notify the applicant in writing and shall clearly state in the notice the reasons why the application or other information or documentation submitted by the applicant is insufficient to substantiate eligibility, and shall identify the particular information the county assessor requests to substantiate eligibility.

   (f)  Signature of all landowners required. An application for preferential assessment may not be accepted by a county if it does not bear the notarized signature of all of the owners of the land described in the application.

§ 137b.42.  Deadline for submission of applications.

   (a)  General. A landowner seeking preferential assessment under the act shall apply to the county by June 1. If the application is approved by the county assessor, preferential assessment shall be effective as of the commencement of the tax year of each taxing body commencing in the calendar year immediately following the application deadline.

Example 1:  A landowner applies for preferential assessment on or before June 1, 2001. The application is subsequently approved. Preferential assessment shall be effective as of the commencement of the tax year for each taxing body in calendar year 2002.
Example 2:  A landowner applies for preferential assessment on or after June 2, 2001, but not later than June 1, 2002. The application is subsequently approved. The application deadline is June 1, 2002. Preferential assessment shall be effective as of the commencement of the tax year for each taxing body in calendar year 2003.

   (b)  Exception: years in which a county implements countywide reassessment. In those years when a county implements a countywide reassessment, or a countywide reassessment of enrolled land, the application deadline shall be extended to either a date 30 days after the final order of the county board for assessment appeals or by October 15 of the same year, whichever date is sooner. This deadline is applicable regardless of whether judicial review of the order is sought.

§ 137b.43.  Applications where subject land is located in more than one county.

   If a landowner seeks to enroll a tract of land for preferential assessment under the act, and the tract is located in more than one county, the landowner shall file the application with the county assessor in the county to which the landowner pays property taxes.

§ 137b.44.  County processing of applications.

   A county shall accept and process in a timely manner all complete and accurate applications for preferential assessment so that, if the application is accepted, preferential assessment is effective as of the tax year of each taxing body commencing in the calendar year immediately following the application deadline.

Example 1:  An application for preferential assessment is filed on or before June 1, 2001. The county must review and process the application so that--if the application is approved--preferential assessment can take effect as of the commencement of the tax year of each taxing body commencing in 2002 (the calendar year immediately following the application deadline).
Example 2:  An application for preferential assessment is filed at some point from June 2, 2001 through June 1, 2002. The county must review and process the application so that--if the application is approved--preferential assessment can take effect as of the commencement of the tax year of each taxing body commencing in 2003 (the calendar year immediately following the application deadline).

§ 137b.45.  Notice of qualification for preferential assessment.

   A county assessor shall provide an applicant for preferential assessment under the act with written notification of whether the land described in that application qualifies for that preferential assessment or fails to meet the qualifications for preferential assessment.

§ 137b.46.  Fees of the county board for assessment appeals.

   (a)  Application processing fee. A county board for assessment appeals may impose a fee of no more than $50 for processing an application for preferential assessment under the act, or for processing changes other than those described in subsection (b). This fee may be charged regardless of whether the application is ultimately approved or rejected. This fee is exclusive of any fee which may be charged by the recorder of deeds for recording the application.

   (b)  Circumstances under which initial application shall be amended without charge. A county board for assessment appeals may not charge a fee for amending an initial application for preferential assessment to reflect changes resulting from one or more of the following:

   (1)  Split-off.

   (2)  Separation.

   (3)  Transfer or change of ownership.

PREFERENTIAL ASSESSMENT

§ 137b.51.  Assessment procedures.

   (a)  Use values and land use subcategories to be provided by the Department.  The Department will determine the land use subcategories and provide county assessors use values for each land use subcategory. The Department will provide these land use subcategories and use values to each county assessor by May 1 of each year.

   (b)  Determining use values and land use subcategories.

   (1)  Agricultural use and agricultural reserve. In calculating appropriate county-specific agricultural use values and agricultural reserve use values, and land use subcategories, the Department will consult with the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology of the College of Agricultural Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University, the Pennsylvania Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA-ERS, USDA-NRCS and other sources the Department deems appropriate. In determining county-specific agricultural use and agricultural reserve use values, the Department will use the income approach for asset valuation.

   (2)  Forest reserve. In calculating appropriate county-specific forest reserve use values and land use subcategories, the Department will consult with the Bureau of Forestry of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

   (c)  County assessor to determine total use value.

   (1)  For each application for preferential assessment, the county assessor shall establish a total use value for land in agricultural use and agricultural reserve, including farmstead land, by considering available evidence of the capability of the land for its particular use utilizing the USDA-NRCS Agricultural Land Capability Classification system and other information available from USDA-ERS, the Pennsylvania State University and the Pennsylvania Agricultural Statistics Service. Contributory value of farm buildings, as calculated in accordance with § 137b.54 (relating to calculating the contributory value of farm buildings), shall be used.

   (2)  For each application for preferential assessment, the county assessor shall establish a total use value for land in forest reserve, including farmstead land, by considering available evidence of capability of the land for its particular use. Contributory value of farm buildings, as calculated in accordance with § 137b.54 shall be used.

   (d)  Determining preferential assessment. The preferential assessment of land is determined by multiplying the number of acres in each land use subcategory by the use value for that particular land use subcategory, and then adding these products. The Department will establish land use subcategories as part of the procedure to establish use values.

   (e)  Option of county assessors to establish and use lower use values. A county assessor may establish use values for land use subcategories that are less than the use values established by the Department for those same land use subcategories. A county assessor may use these lower use values in determining preferential assessments under the act. Regardless of whether the county assessor applies use values established by the Department or lower use values established by the county assessor, the county assessor shall apply the use values uniformly when calculating or recalculating preferential assessments, and shall apply these use values to the same land use subcategories as established by the Department. Calculation and recalculation of preferential assessments shall be made in accordance with § 137b.53 (relating to calculation and recalculation of preferential assessment). A county assessor may not, under any circumstances, establish or apply use values that are higher than those use values established by the Department.

   (f)  Option of county assessors to select between county-established use values and use values provided by the Department. When a county assessor has established use values for the three land use categories (agricultural use, agricultural reserve and forest reserve), and the use values for some--but not all--of these land use categories are lower than those provided by the Department, the county assessor has the option to apply the lower use value with respect to each individual land use category, without regard to whether it was provided by the Department or established by the county assessor.

§ 137b.52.  Duration of preferential assessment.

   (a)  General. Enrolled land shall remain under preferential assessment for as long as it continues to meet the minimum qualifications for preferential assessment. Land that is in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve shall remain under preferential assessment even if its use changes to either of the other two uses.

Example:  A landowner owns a 100-acre tract of enrolled land, consisting of 85 acres in agricultural use and 15 acres in forest reserve. If the landowner later amends his application to one in which 60 acres are in agricultural use, 30 acres are in agricultural reserve and 10 acres are in forest reserve, the entire 100-acre tract continues to receive preferential assessment (although different use values and land use subcategories may apply in recalculating the preferential assessment).

   (b)  No termination of preferential assessment without change of use. An owner of enrolled land may not unilaterally terminate or waive the preferential assessment of enrolled land. Preferential assessment terminates as of the change of use of the land to something other than agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve. It is this event--the change of use of the enrolled land to something other than agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve--that terminates preferential assessment and triggers liability for roll-back taxes and interest. Although an owner of enrolled land may not unilaterally terminate or waive the preferential assessment of enrolled land, the landowner may minimize roll-back tax liability by voluntarily paying taxes in the amount the landowner would be obligated to pay if the land not preferentially assessed.

Example 1:  An owner of 60 acres of enrolled land no longer wishes to have the enrolled land receive a preferential assessment under the act. The landowner writes the county assessor and notifies the county assessor of this desire. The landowner does not change the use of the land from one of the land use categories. The preferential assessment of the land shall continue.
Example 2:  Same facts as Example 1, except the landowner changes the use of the 60 aces of enrolled land to something other than agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve, and the change of use occurs on July 1. Preferential assessment ends as of that change of use, and roll-back taxes and interest are due as of the date of the change of use.
Example 3:  Same facts as Example 1, except that the landowner began to receive preferential assessment in the 1998 tax year. Beginning with the 2000 tax year and each tax year thereafter, the landowner elects to voluntarily pay--and the county assessor agrees to accept--property taxes on the basis of the enrolled land's fair market assessed value, rather than the enrolled land's preferential assessment value. On September 1, 2004, the landowner changes the use of all of the land to something other than agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve. Preferential assessment ends as of the change of use, and the landowner is liable for the payment of roll-back taxes. Assuming the landowner paid all of the taxes due for tax years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 based upon the normal assessed value of the enrolled land, the landowner would only be liable for roll-back taxes and interest for tax years 1998 and 1999--the only tax years of the 7-year period for roll-back tax liability in which the landowner paid taxes based upon preferential assessment, rather than the enrolled land's normal assessed value.
Example 4:  Same facts as Example 3, except that on September 1, 2007, the landowner changes the use of all of the land to something other than agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve. Preferential assessment ends as of the change of use, and the landowner is liable for the payment of roll-back taxes. Since the landowner had been voluntarily paying taxes on the basis of the normal assessed value of the enrolled land for longer than the 7-year period for roll-back tax liability, though, the landowner's roll-back tax liability would be zero.

   (c)  Split-offs, separations, transfers and other events. Split-offs, separations and transfers under the act or this chapter will not result in termination of preferential assessment on the land which is retained by the landowner and which continues to meet the requirements of section 3 of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.3). In addition, the following events will not result in termination of preferential assessment on that portion of enrolled land which continues to meet the requirements of section 3 of the act:

   (1)  The lease of a portion of the enrolled land to be used for a wireless or cellular communication tower in accordance with section 6(b.1) of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.6(b.1)) and § 137b.73 (relating to wireless or cellular telecommunications facilities).

   (2)  The change of use of a portion of the enrolled land to another land use category (agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve).

   (3)  Condemnation of a portion of the land.

   (4)  The sale or donation of a portion of the enrolled land to any of the entities described in section 8(b)(1)--(7) of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.8(b)(1)--(7)), for the purposes described in that section, and § 137b.74 (relating to option to accept or forgive roll-back taxes in certain instances).

   (5)  The use of up to 2 acres of the enrolled land for direct commercial sales of agriculturally related products or for a rural enterprise incidental to the operational unit, in accordance with section 8(d) of the act and § 137b.72 (relating to direct commercial sales of agriculturally related products and activities; rural enterprises incidental to the operational unit).

   (6)  The conveyance of a portion of the enrolled land to a nonprofit corporation for use as a cemetery, in accordance with section 8(e) of the act and § 137b.75 (relating to transfer of enrolled land for use as a cemetery).

   (7)  The conveyance of a portion of the enrolled land to a nonprofit corporation for use as a trail, in accordance with section 8(e) of the act and § 137b.76 (relating to transfer of enrolled land or transfer of an easement or right-of-way across enrolled land for use as a trail).

   (8)  The distribution, upon the death of the owner of the enrolled land, of the enrolled land among the beneficiaries designated as Class A for inheritance tax purposes, in accordance with section 6(d) of the act and § 137b.71 (relating to death of an owner of enrolled land).

   (d)  Payment of roll-back taxes does not affect preferential assessment of remaining land. The payment of roll-back taxes and interest under the act and this chapter may not result in termination of preferential assessment on the remainder of the land covered by preferential assessment.

Example 1:  A landowner owns a 100-acre tract of enrolled land, which is in agricultural use. The landowner splits off a tract of no more than 2 acres and that 2-acre tract is used for a residential dwelling as described in section 6(a.1)(1)(i) of the act and meets the other criteria in that paragraph. Although the 2-acre tract is no longer entitled to receive preferential assessment, the 98-acre tract shall continue to receive preferential assessment. Also, roll-back taxes would be due with respect to the 2-acre tract.
Example 2:  Landowner A owns a 100-acre tract of enrolled land, which is in agricultural use. Landowner A splits off a 2-acre tract and sells it to Landowner B, with the understanding that Landowner B will use the land for a residential dwelling permitted under section 6(a.1)(1)(i) of the act. Roll-back taxes are due with respect to the 2-acre tract. Landowner B does not erect the permitted residential dwelling, but converts the 2-acre tract to commercial use. Landowner B owes roll-back taxes with respect to the entire 100-acre tract (under section 6(a.1) of the act). Landowner A has no liability for any of the roll-back taxes which were triggered and are owed by Landowner B as a result of the conversion of the 2-acre tract to commercial use. If the 98-acre tract owned by Landowner A continues in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve, and continues to meet the requirements of section 3 of the act, it shall continue to receive preferential assessment.
Example 3:  Landowner A owns a 100-acre tract of enrolled land, which is in agricultural use. Landowner A separates the land into a 50-acre tract and two 25-acre tracts, and sells a 25-acre tract to Landowner B. All 100 acres continue in agricultural use and continue to meet the requirements of section 2 of the act. No roll-back taxes are due. The entire 100-acre tract shall continue to receive preferential assessment.
Example 4:  Same facts as Example 3, except that within 7 years of the separation, Landowner B changes the use of his 25-acre tract to something other than agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve. Landowner B shall pay roll-back taxes with respect to the entire 100-acre tract (under section 6(a.2) of the act). If the 75 acres owned by Landowner A continues in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve, and continues to meet the requirements of section 2 of the act, it shall continue to receive preferential assessment under the act.
Example 5:  Same facts as Example 3, except that more than 7 years after the date of separation, Landowner B changes the use of his 25-acre tract to something other than agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve. Landowner B shall pay roll- back taxes on his 25-acre tract (under section 6(a.2) of the act). If the 75 acres owned by Landowner A continues in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve, and continues to meet the requirements of section 3 of the act, it shall continue to receive preferential assessment under the act.

   (e)  Termination of preferential assessment by county. The maximum area with respect to which a county may terminate preferential assessment may not exceed:

   (1)  In the case of a split-off that is not a condemnation and that meets the maximum size, use and aggregate acreage requirements in section 6(a.1)(1)(i) of the act, the land so split-off.

   (2)  In the case of a split-off that is not a condemnation and that does not meet the maximum size, use and aggregate acreage requirements in section 6(a.1)(1)(i) of the act, all contiguous land enrolled under the application for preferential assessment.

   (3)  In the case when the owner of enrolled land changes the use of the land so that it no longer meets the requirements in section 3 of the act, all contiguous land enrolled under the application for preferential assessment.

   (4)  In the case when the owner of enrolled land leases a portion of that land for wireless or cellular telecommunications in accordance with section 6(b.1) of the act and § 137b.74, the land so leased.

   (5)  In the case of condemnation, the land so condemned.

   (6)  In the case when enrolled land is sold or donated to an entity described in section 8(b)(1)--(7) of the act in accordance with the requirements in those paragraphs, the land so sold or conveyed.

   (7)  In the case when not more than 2 acres of enrolled land is used for direct commercial sales of agriculturally related products and activities or for rural enterprises incidental to the operational unit, in accordance with section 8(d) of the act and § 137b.72, the land so used for those purposes.

   (8)  In the case when a portion of enrolled land is conveyed to a nonprofit corporation for use as a cemetery in accordance with section 8(e) of the act and § 137b.75, the land so transferred.

   (9)  In the case when a portion of the enrolled land is conveyed to a nonprofit corporation for use as a trail in accordance with section 8(e) of the act and § 137b.76, the land so transferred.

   (10)  In the case when enrolled land is distributed upon the death of the landowner among the beneficiaries designated as Class A for inheritance tax purposes in accordance with section 6(d) of the act and § 137b.71 the portion that fails to meet the requirements for preferential assessment in section 3 of the act.

   (f)  Termination of preferential assessment on erroneously-enrolled land. If a county assessor erroneously allows the enrollment of land that did not, at the time of enrollment, meet the minimum qualifications for preferential assessment, the county assessor shall, in accordance with section 3(d)(2) of the act provide the landowner written notice that preferential assessment is to be terminated. The notice shall state the reasons for termination and afford the landowner the opportunity for a hearing. If the use of the land was not an eligible use at the time it was enrolled, and preferential assessment is terminated for that reason, no roll-back taxes shall be due from the landowner as a result.

   (g)  Transfer does not trigger roll-back taxes. The transfer of all of the enrolled land described in a single application for preferential assessment to a new owner without a change to an ineligible use does not trigger the imposition of roll-back taxes. When the enrolled land consists of several noncontiguous tracts enrolled under a single application for preferential assessment, the transfer of all of the contiguous acreage within such a noncontiguous tract will not trigger the imposition of roll-back taxes.

§ 137b.53.  Calculation and recalculation of preferential assessment.

   (a)  New values each year. As described in § 137b.51 (relating to assessment procedures), the Department will determine the land use subcategories and provide a county use values for each land use subcategory. The Department will provide these land use subcategories and use values to each county assessor by May 1 of each year.

   (b)  Option of county assessor in calculation of preferential assessment. A county assessor shall calculate the preferential assessment of enrolled land using one of the following methods:

   (1)  Calculate the preferential assessment of all of the enrolled land in the county each year.

   (2)  Establish a base year for preferential assessment of enrolled land in the county, and use this base year in calculating the preferential assessment of enrolled land in the county.

   (c)  Required recalculation of preferential assessment if current assessment is based upon use values higher than those provided by the Department. A county assessor shall calculate the preferential assessment of all enrolled land in the county using either the current use values and land use subcategories provided by the Department or lower use values established by the county assessor.

Example 1:  All of the enrolled land in a particular county receives a preferential assessment under the act that is calculated with use values that are lower than the use values provided by the Department. The county has the option of either continuing to assess all enrolled land using its lower use values or recalculating the preferential assessment of all enrolled land using the use values provided by the Department.
Example 2:  All of the enrolled land in a particular county receives a preferential assessment under the act that is calculated with use values that are higher than the use values provided by the Department. The county shall recalculate the preferential assessment of all enrolled land using either the use values provided by the Department or lower use values determined by the county assessor.

   (d)  Required recalculation of preferential assessment if farmstead land has not been preferentially assessed as agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve. A county assessor shall recalculate the preferential assessment on any tract of enrolled land which contains farmstead land if the earlier calculation did not value and assess the farmstead land as agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve. This recalculation shall be accomplished in accordance with § 137b.51.

Example:  In calculating the preferential assessment of enrolled land, a county has assessed farmstead land at its fair market value, rather than as part of the land that is in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve. The county shall recalculate these assessments so that the farmstead land receives preferential assessment, rather than assessment based on fair market value.

   (e)  Required recalculation of preferential assessment if contributory value of farm buildings has not been used in determining preferential assessment of land in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve. A county assessor shall recalculate the preferential assessment on any tract of enrolled land if the earlier calculation did not consider the contributory value of any farm buildings on that land. This recalculation shall be accomplished in accordance with § 137b.51.

   (f)  Required recalculation of preferential assessment in countywide reassessment. If a county undertakes a countywide reassessment, or a countywide reassessment of enrolled land, the county assessor shall recalculate the preferential assessment of all of the enrolled land in the county, using either the current use values and land use subcategories provided by the Department, or lower use values established by the county assessor and land use subcategories provided by the Department.

   (g)  Land enrolled prior to June 2, 1998. A county assessor is not obligated under the act or this chapter to recalculate the preferential assessment of land that is the subject of applications for preferential assessment filed on or before June 1, 1998, unless recalculation is required under subsection (c), (d), (e) or (f).

§ 137b.54.  Calculating the contributory value of farm buildings.

   A county assessor shall be responsible to calculate the contributory value of farm buildings on enrolled land.

OBLIGATIONS OF THE OWNER OF ENROLLED LAND

§ 137b.61.  Transfer of enrolled land.

   When enrolled land is transferred to a new owner, the new owner shall file an amendment to the original application for the purposes of providing the county assessor with current information and to sign the acknowledgments required under section 4(c) of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.4(c)).

§ 137b.62.  Enrolled ''agricultural use'' land of less than 10 contiguous acres.

   (a)  Demonstration of anticipated yearly gross income from agricultural production. If a landowner has a contiguous tract of less than 10 acres of enrolled agricultural use land, the county assessor may require the landowner to demonstrate each year that the anticipated yearly gross income from the production of agricultural commodities on the enrolled land is at least $2,000. A landowner may not be required to demonstrate more than once per year that the enrolled land has sufficient anticipated yearly gross income from the production of agricultural commodities to continue to receive preferential assessment. A county assessor requiring additional information shall notify the landowner in writing and shall clearly state in the notice the reasons why the information or documentation submitted by the landowner fails to demonstrate sufficiency of income, and shall identify the particular information the county assessor requests to demonstrate sufficiency of income.

   (b)  Annual requirement; circumstances beyond the landowner's control. The $2,000 anticipated annual gross income requirement referenced in this section shall be met each year, unless circumstances beyond the landowner's control are the cause of the requirement not being met.

   (c)  Examples.

Example 1:  A landowner owns 9 acres of enrolled land. The land contains a 9-acre orchard, and is enrolled as agricultural use land. Although the landowner reasonably anticipated production well above the $2,000 minimum production requirement in a particular year, and represented that to the county assessor, a drought, hailstorm or blight causes the orchard's production to drop below $2,000 that year. Preferential assessment of the orchard shall continue.
Example 2:  A landowner owns 9 acres of enrolled land. The land contains a 9-acre orchard, and is enrolled as agricultural use land. A plant disease destroys the fruit trees. Although the landowner replants the orchard, it will take several years for gross income from agricultural production from that orchard to meet the $2,000 requirement. Preferential assessment of the orchard shall continue.
Example 3:  A landowner owns 8 acres of enrolled land. The tract generates over $2,000 in gross annual income from swine production. The landowner sells the swine herd and does not begin another agricultural production operation on the land. The land is no longer in agricultural use. The landowner's failure to continue the land in an agricultural use capable of producing income constitutes a change to an ineligible use. The landowner is liable for roll-back taxes and interest, and preferential assessment shall terminate.

§ 137b.63.  Notice of change of application.

   (a)  Landowner's responsibility to provide advance notice of changes. An owner of enrolled land shall provide the county assessor of the county in which the land is located at least 30 days' advance written notice of any of the following:

   (1)  A change in use of the enrolled land to some use other than agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve.

   (2)  A change in ownership with respect to the enrolled land or any portion of the land.

   (3)  Any type of division, conveyance, transfer, separation or split-off of the enrolled land.

   (b)  Contents of notice. The notice described in subsection (a) shall include the following information:

   (1)  The name and address of any person to whom the land is being conveyed, granted or donated.

   (2)  The date of the proposed transfer, separation or split-off.

   (3)  The amount of land to be transferred, separated or split-off.

   (4)  The present use of the land to be transferred, separated or split-off.

   (5)  The date of the original application for preferential assessment under the act.

   (6)  A description of previous transfers, separations or split-offs of that enrolled land from the date of preferential assessment, of which the landowner is aware.

   (7)  The intended use to which the land will be put when transferred, separated or split-off, if known.

   (8)  The tax parcel number.

   (c)  Landowner's duty to notify. As stated in § 137b.41(d) (relating to application forms and procedures), a person applying for preferential assessment of land under the act shall acknowledge on the application form the obligation described in subsection (a).

§ 137b.64.  Agricultural reserve land to be open to the public.

   (a)  General. An owner of enrolled land that is enrolled as agricultural reserve land shall allow the land to be open to the public for outdoor recreation or the enjoyment of scenic or natural beauty without charge or fee, on a nondiscriminatory basis. Enrolled land that is in agricultural use or forest reserve is excluded from this requirement.

   (b)  Actual use by public not required. Enrolled land that is enrolled as agricultural reserve land need not actually be used by the public for the purposes described in subsection (a) to continue to receive a preferential assessment. It shall, however, be available for use for those purposes.

   (c)  Reasonable restrictions on use allowed. A landowner may place reasonable restrictions on public access to enrolled land that is enrolled as agricultural reserve land. These restrictions might include limiting access to the land to pedestrians only, prohibiting hunting or the carrying or discharge of firearms on the land, prohibiting entry where damage to the land might result or where hazardous conditions exist, or other reasonable restrictions.

   (d)  Entry upon the agricultural reserve land. A person shall, whenever possible, notify the landowner before entering upon enrolled land that is enrolled as agricultural reserve land. The landowner may deny entry when damage to the property might result. The landowner can prohibit entry to areas of the agricultural reserve land upon prior notification to the county assessor of the existence of a hazardous condition on that land. The landowner's reasons to deny entry to the land shall be based upon fact and acceptable to the county assessor.

   (e)  County assessor's discretion. A county assessor may establish reasonable guidelines by which an owner of enrolled agricultural reserve land may identify the conditions under which the land shall be open to the public for outdoor recreation or the enjoyment of scenic or natural beauty, and by which the county assessor may maintain an up-to-date summary of the locations of agricultural reserve land within the county and the public uses to which these agricultural reserve lands may be put. A county assessor may disseminate this information to the public.

IMPACT OF SPECIFIC EVENTS OR USES ON PREFERENTIAL ASSESSMENT

§ 137b.71.  Death of an owner of enrolled land.

   (a)  Inheriting a tract that does not meet minimum requirements for preferential assessment. Upon the death of an owner of enrolled land, if any of the enrolled land that is divided among the beneficiaries designated as Class A for inheritance tax purposes no longer meets the minimum qualifications for preferential assessment, preferential assessment shall terminate with respect to the portion of the enrolled land that no longer meets the minimum requirements for preferential assessment, and no roll-back tax may be charged on any of the land that no longer meets the requirements for preferential assessment.

Example:  Landowner A owns 100 acres of enrolled land, which is in agricultural use. Landowner A dies, and the land is divided among several Class A beneficiaries, as follows: Landowner B-75 acres. Landowner C-2 acres. Landowner D-23 acres. The tracts owned by Landowners B and D continue in agricultural use. The 2-acre tract owned by Landowner C no longer meets the size or income requirements in section 3 of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.3). Under these facts, preferential assessment of the 2-acre tract ends. Landowner C does not owe roll-back taxes with respect to this tract. Landowners B and D continue to receive preferential assessment.

   (b)  Inheriting a tract that meets the minimum requirements for preferential assessment. If a person designated a Class A beneficiary inherits a tract that meets the minimum requirements for preferential assessment, and the tract continues in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve, preferential assessment shall continue. If a person designated a Class A beneficiary inherits a tract that meets the minimum requirements for preferential assessment, and subsequently changes the use of that tract so that it does not qualify for preferential assessment, that beneficiary shall owe roll-back taxes with respect to the portion of the enrolled land he inherited, but no roll-back taxes are due with respect to any other portion of the enrolled land inherited by another beneficiary.

Example 1:  Landowner A owns 100 acres of enrolled land, which is in agricultural use. Landowner A dies, and Landowners B and C each inherit a 50-acre tract, as Class A beneficiaries. The tracts owned by Landowners B and C continue in agricultural use. Preferential assessment continues.
Example 2:  Same facts as Example 1, except Landowner B converts the 50-acre tract of agricultural land to industrial use. Landowner B owes roll-back taxes with respect to the 50-acre tract. Landowner A does not owe roll-back taxes. Preferential assessment continues with respect to Landowner A's tract.

§ 137b.72.  Direct commercial sales of agriculturally related products and activities; rural enterprises incidental to the operational unit.

   (a)  General. An owner of enrolled land may apply up to 2 acres of enrolled land toward direct commercial sales of agriculturally related products and activities, or toward a rural enterprise incidental to the operational unit, without subjecting the entirety of the enrolled land to roll-back taxes, if both of the following apply to the commercial activity or rural enterprise:

   (1)  The commercial enterprise does not permanently impede or otherwise interfere with the production of an agricultural commodity on that portion of the enrolled land which is not subject to roll-back taxes under section 8(d)(2) of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.8(d)(2)).

   (2)   The commercial activity is owned and operated by the landowner or persons who are Class A beneficiaries of the landowner for inheritance tax purposes, or by a legal entity owned or controlled by the landowner or persons who are Class A beneficiaries of the landowner for inheritance tax purposes.

   (b)  Roll-back taxes and status of preferential assessment. If a tract of 2-acres-or-less of enrolled land is used for direct commercial sales of agriculturally related products and activities, or toward a rural enterprise incidental to the operational unit, the 2-acre-or-less tract shall be subject to roll-back taxes, and preferential assessment of that 2-acre-or-less tract shall end. The remainder of the enrolled land shall continue under preferential assessment as long as that remainder continues to meet the requirements for eligibility in section 3 of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.3).

   (c)  Inventory by county assessor to determine ownership of goods. A county assessor may inventory the goods sold at the business to assure that they are owned by the landowner or persons who are class A beneficiaries of the landowner for inheritance tax purposes, or by a legal entity owned or controlled by the landowner or persons who are Class A beneficiaries of the landowner for inheritance tax purposes, and that the goods meet the requirements of this section.

§ 137b.73.  Wireless or cellular telecommunications facilities.

   (a)  Permitted use. A landowner may lease a tract of enrolled land to be used for wireless or cellular telecommunications, if the following conditions are satisfied:

   (1)  The tract so leased does not exceed 1/2 acre.

   (2)  The tract does not have more than one communication tower located upon it.

   (3)  The tract is accessible.

   (4)  The tract is neither conveyed nor subdivided. A lease may not be considered a subdivision.

   (b)  Roll-back taxes imposed with respect to leased land. A county assessor shall assess and impose roll-back taxes upon the tract of land leased by an owner of enrolled land for wireless or cellular telecommunications purposes.

   (c)  Preferential assessment ends and fair market value assessment commences with respect to leased land. A county assessor shall assess land leased in accordance with subsection (a) based upon its fair market value.

   (d)  Preferential assessment continues on unleased land. The lease of enrolled land in accordance with subsection (a) does not invalidate the preferential assessment of the remaining enrolled land that is not so leased, and that enrolled land shall continue to receive a preferential assessment, if it continues to meet the minimum requirements for eligibility in section 3 of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.3).

   (e)  Wireless services other than wireless telecommunications. Wireless services other than wireless telecommunications may be conducted on land leased in accordance with subsection (a) if the wireless services share a tower with a wireless telecommunications provider.

   (f)  Responsibility for obtaining required permits. The wireless or cellular telecommunications provider shall be solely responsible for obtaining required permits in connection with any construction on a tract of land which it leases for telecommunications purposes under subsection (a).

   (g)  Responsibility of municipality for issuing required permits. A municipality may not deny a permit necessary for wireless or cellular communications use for any reason other than the applicant's failure to strictly comply with permit application procedures.

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