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[31 Pa.B. 1701]

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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. Landowners B and D must file amended applications.

   (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 and interest 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 on each tract, and the landowners must file amended applications.
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 and interest 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 and interest, if both of the following apply to the commercial activity or rural enterprise:

   (1)  The commercial activity or rural enterprise does not permanently impede or otherwise interfere with the production of an agricultural commodity on the remainder of the enrolled land.

   (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 interest, 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 is not considered a subdivision.

   (b)  Roll-back taxes imposed with respect to leased land. A county assessor shall assess and impose roll-back taxes and interest 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 telecommunications use for any reason other than the applicant's failure to strictly comply with permit application procedures.

§ 137b.74.  Option to accept or forgive roll-back taxes in certain instances.

   (a)  Option to accept or forgive principal on roll-back taxes. The taxing body of the taxing district within which a tract of enrolled land is located may accept or forgive roll-back taxes with respect to that portion of the enrolled land that is granted or donated to any one of the following:

   (1)  A school district.

   (2)  A municipality.

   (3)  A county.

   (4)  A volunteer fire company.

   (5)  A volunteer ambulance service.

   (6)  A not-for-profit corporation that qualifies as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C.A. § 501(c)(3)), if prior to accepting ownership of the land, the corporation enters into an agreement with the municipality wherein the subject land is located guaranteeing that the land will be used exclusively for recreational purposes, all of which shall be available to the general public free of charge. If the corporation changes the use of all or a portion of the land or charges admission or any other fee for the use or enjoyment of the facilities, the corporation shall immediately become liable for all roll-back taxes and accrued interest previously forgiven.

   (7)  A religious organization, if the religious organization uses the land only for construction or regular use as a church, synagogue or other place of worship, including meeting facilities, parking facilities, housing facilities and other facilities which further the religious purposes of the organization.

   (b)  No option to forgive interest on roll-back taxes. The taxing body of the taxing district within which a tract of enrolled land is located may not forgive interest due on roll-back taxes with respect to that portion of the enrolled land that is granted or donated to any one of the entities or for any of the uses described in subsection (a)(1)--(7). That interest shall be distributed in accordance with section 8(b.1) of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.8(b.1)).

§ 137b.75.  Conveyance of enrolled land for use as a cemetery.

   (a)  Conveyances. If an owner of enrolled land sells, donates or otherwise conveys any portion of the enrolled land to a nonprofit corporation for use as a cemetery, and at least 10 acres of the remainder of the enrolled land remain in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve after the conveyance, no violation of preferential assessment will be deemed to have occurred and roll-back taxes may not be assessed with respect to either the conveyed portion of the enrolled land or the remainder of the enrolled land.

Example: A landowner owns 50 acres of enrolled land. The land is in agricultural use. The landowner sells 20 acres of the enrolled land to a nonprofit corporation for use as a cemetery. The remaining 30-acre tract continues in agricultural use. Under these facts, no roll-back taxes are due with respect to either tract. The 30-acre tract continues to receive preferential assessment. The 20-acre tract receives an assessment based on fair market value.

   (b)  Exception. If a nonprofit corporation acquires enrolled land as described in subsection (a), and subsequently changes the use of the land to some use other than as a cemetery or conveys the land for use other than as a cemetery, the nonprofit corporation shall be required to pay roll-back taxes and interest on that land.

Example: Same facts as the example under subsection (a), but 2 years after it acquired the 20-acre tract, the nonprofit corporation changes the use to something other than cemetery use. The nonprofit corporation owes roll-back taxes and interest with respect to the 20-acre tract. The owner of the 30-acre tract is not liable for the payment of any roll-back taxes triggered by the nonprofit corporation's change of use.

§ 137b.76.  Conveyance of enrolled land or conveyance of an easement or right-of-way across enrolled land for use as a trail.

   (a)  Conveyances. If an owner of enrolled land sells, donates or otherwise conveys any portion of the enrolled land, or conveys an easement or right-of-way with respect to any portion of the enrolled land, no violation of preferential assessment will be deemed to have occurred and roll-back taxes will not be assessed with respect to either the conveyed portion of the enrolled land or the remainder of the enrolled land if all of the following occur:

   (1)  The land, or an easement or right-of-way in the land, is conveyed to a nonprofit corporation.

   (2)  The conveyed land is used as a trail for nonmotorized passive recreational use.

   (3)  The conveyed land does not exceed 20 feet in width.

   (4)  The conveyed land is available to the public for use without charge.

   (5)  At least 10 acres of the remainder of the enrolled land remain in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve.

Example: A landowner owns 50 acres of enrolled land. The land is in agricultural use. The landowner conveys a 20-foot-wide pathway across the land to a nonprofit corporation for use as a trail, and otherwise complies with paragraphs (1)--(5) and section 8(e) of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.8(e)). Under these facts, no roll-back taxes are due with respect to either tract. The trail receives an assessment based upon fair market value. The remainder of the landowner's 50-acre tract continues to receive a preferential assessment.

   (b)  Exception. If a nonprofit corporation acquires enrolled land or an easement or right of way with respect to enrolled land as described in subsection (a), and the use of the land is subsequently changed to a use other than the use described in subsection (a)(1)--(4) or section 8(e) of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.8(e)), the nonprofit corporation shall be required to pay roll-back taxes and interest on that land.

Example: A landowner owns 50 acres of enrolled land. The land is in agricultural use. The landowner conveys a 15-foot-wide pathway across the land to a nonprofit corporation for use as a trail. The conveyance is for a use described in subsection (a)(1)--(4) or section 8(e) of the act. The nonprofit corporation subsequently changes the use of the trail to a motorcycle trail, a snowmobile trail or some other use not allowed under subsection (a)(1)--(4) or section 8(e) of the act. Under these facts, roll-back taxes and interest are due with respect to the 15-foot-wide tract. The remainder of the 50-acre tract continues to receive preferential assessment. The owner of the remainder continuing to receive preferential assessment is not liable for any roll-back taxes triggered by the nonprofit corporation's change of use.

LIABILITY FOR ROLL-BACK TAXES

§ 137b.81.  General.

   If an owner of enrolled land changes the use of the land to something other than agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve or changes the use of the enrolled land so that it otherwise fails to meet the requirements of section 3 of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.3), that landowner shall be responsible for the payment of roll-back taxes and interest, and preferential assessment shall end on that portion of the enrolled land which fails to meet the requirements of section 3 of the act. The owner of enrolled land will not be liable for any roll-back tax triggered as a result of a change to an ineligible use by the owner of a split-off tract.

§ 137b.82.  Split-off tract.

   When a split-off tract meets the following criteria, which are set forth in section 6(a.1)(1) of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.6(a.1)(1)), roll-back taxes and interest are only due with respect to the split-off tract, and are not due with respect to the remainder:

   (1)  The tract split off does not exceed 2 acres annually, except that a maximum of the minimum residential lot size requirement annually may be split off if the property is situated in a local government unit which requires a minimum residential lot size of 2--3 acres.

   (2)  The tract is used for agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve or for the construction of a residential dwelling to be occupied by the person to whom the land is conveyed.

   (3)  The total tract split off does not exceed the lesser of 10 acres or 10% of the entire tract of enrolled land.

§ 137b.83.  Split-off that complies with section 6(a.1)(1)(i) of the act.

   If enrolled land undergoes split-off and the tract that is split-off meets the size, use and aggregate acreage requirements in section 6(a.1)(1)(i) of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.6(a.1)(1)(i)), the landowner who conducted the split-off shall owe roll-back taxes and interest with respect to the split-off tract. The preferential assessment of that split-off tract shall be terminated. If the remainder of the enrolled land is in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve, and continues to meet the requirements of section 3 of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.3), no roll-back taxes are due with respect to that remainder, and preferential assessment shall continue with respect to that tract.

Example: Landowner owns 50 acres of enrolled land. Landowner splits off 2 acres for a residential dwelling, in compliance with section 6(a.1)(1)(i) of the act. The landowner owes roll-back taxes and interest on the 2-acre tract, and the preferential assessment of that tract shall be terminated. The remaining 48-acre tract would continue to receive preferential assessment, assuming it remains in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve and otherwise continues to meet the requirements of section 3 of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.3).

§ 137b.84.  Split-off that does not comply with section 6(a.1)(1)(i) of the act.

   If enrolled land undergoes split off and the tract that is split-off does not meet the size, use and aggregate acreage requirements in section 6(a.1)(1)(i) of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.6(a.1)(1)(i)), the landowner who conducted the split-off shall owe roll-back taxes and interest with respect to all of the enrolled land.

Example 1: Landowner owns 50 acres of enrolled land. Landowner splits off 4 acres in a single year. This split-off would not meet the size requirements in section 6(a.1)(1)(i) of the act. The landowner owes roll-back taxes and interest on the entire 50-acre tract. The 4-acre tract no longer receives preferential assessment. If the 46-acre tract remains in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve and continues to meet the requirements of section 3 of the act, preferential assessment would continue with respect to that tract, unless the landowner terminates preferential assessment under section 3(d) of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.3(d)).
Example 2: Landowner owns 50 acres of enrolled land. Landowner splits off 2-acre tracts in 3 different years. The aggregate amount of land split-off (6 acres) exceeds the 10% cap in section 6(c.1)(1)(i) of the act. Under these facts, the aggregate total of split-off land could not exceed 5 acres. The landowner owes roll-back taxes and interest on the remaining 44-acre tract. The three 2-acre tracts no longer receive preferential assessment. If the remaining 44-acre tract remains in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve and continues to meet the requirements of section 3 of the act, preferential assessment would continue with respect to that 44-acre tract, unless the landowner terminates preferential assessment under section 3(d) of the act.

§ 137b.85.  Split-off occurring through condemnation.

   If any portion of a tract of enrolled land is condemned, the condemnation will not trigger liability for roll-back taxes on either the condemned portion of the enrolled land or the remainder. If the condemned portion or the remainder of the enrolled land remains in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve, and meets the criteria in section 3 of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.3), preferential assessment shall continue with respect to that condemned portion or remainder.

§ 137b.86.  Split-off occurring through voluntary sale in lieu of condemnation.

   If any portion of a tract of enrolled land is--in lieu of requiring the condemnation process to proceed--voluntarily conveyed by a landowner to an entity that possesses the lawful authority to acquire that portion through condemnation, the conveyance will not trigger liability for roll-back taxes on either the split-off portion of the enrolled land or the remainder. If the split-off portion or the remainder of the enrolled land remains in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve, and meets the criteria in section 3 of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.3), preferential assessment shall continue with respect to that split-off portion or remainder.

§ 137b.87.  Change in use of separated land occurring within 7 years of separation.

   If enrolled land undergoes separation, and one of the tracts created through separation is converted to a use other than agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve within 7 years of the date of the separation, or is converted so that it no longer meets the requirements of section 3 of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.3), the owner of the ineligible tract owes roll-back taxes and interest with respect to all of the enrolled land. The ineligible tract may no longer receive preferential assessment under the act. The remaining enrolled land shall continue to receive a preferential assessment.

Example: Landowner A owns 100 acres of enrolled land, which is in agricultural use. Landowner A sells Landowner B a 50-acre portion of this enrolled land. Both 50-acre tracts continue in agricultural use, and preferential assessment continues with respect to both tracts. Six years after the original 100-acre tract of enrolled land was separated, Landowner B converts his 50-acre tract to industrial use. Landowner B owes roll-back taxes and interest with respect to the entire 100-acre tract. Landowner A's 50-acre tract continues to receive preferential assessment, and preferential assessment of Landowner B's 50-acre tract ends.

§ 137b.88.  Change in use of separated land occurring 7 years or more after separation.

   If enrolled land undergoes separation, and one of the tracts created through separation is converted to other than agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve 7 years or more after the date of the separation, the owner of the separated tract owes roll-back taxes and interest with respect to that separated tract, but does not owe roll-back taxes with respect to the remainder of the enrolled land. The separated tract may no longer receive preferential assessment under the act. The remaining enrolled land shall continue to receive a preferential assessment.

Example: Landowner A owns 100 acres of enrolled land, which is in agricultural use. Landowner A sells Landowner B a 50-acre portion of this enrolled land. Both 50-acre tracts continue in agricultural use, and preferential assessment continues with respect to both tracts. Eight years after the original 100-acre tract of enrolled land was separated, Landowner B converts his 50-acre tract to industrial use. Landowner B owes roll-back taxes and interest with respect to the 50-acre tract which he has converted to ineligible use. Landowner A's 50-acre tract continues to receive preferential assessment, and preferential assessment of Landowner B's 50-acre tract ends.

§ 137b.89.  Calculation of roll-back taxes.

   A county assessor shall calculate roll-back taxes using the following formula:

   (1) If preferential assessment has been in effect for 7 tax years or more, calculate the difference between preferential assessment and normal assessment in the current tax year, and in each of the 6 tax years immediately preceding the current tax year. If preferential assessment has been in effect for less than 7 tax years, calculate the difference between preferential assessment and normal assessment in the current tax year, and in each of the tax years in which the enrolled land was preferentially assessed.

   (2) With respect to each of these sums, multiply that sum by the corresponding factor, which reflects simple interest at the rate of 6% per annum from that particular tax year to the present:

Year
Factor
Current Tax Year 1.00
1 Tax Year Prior 1.06
2 Tax Years Prior 1.12
3 Tax Years Prior 1.18
4 Tax Years Prior 1.24
5 Tax Years Prior 1.30
6 Tax Years Prior 1.36

   (3)  Add the individual products obtained under Step (2). The sum equals total roll-back taxes, including simple interest at 6% per annum on each year's roll-back taxes.

Example 1: Landowner's liability for roll-back taxes is triggered on July 1, 7 or more tax years after preferential assessment began. The county assessor calculates the difference between the preferential assessment and normal assessment in the current tax year and in each of the 6 tax years preceding the current tax year, in accordance with this section. The county assessor determines the appropriate sum to be $2,000 in each full year, and prorates this sum with respect to the current tax year.
YearAmount Multiplied
by Factor
Current Tax Year $1,000 x 1.00 = $1,000
1 Tax Year Prior $2,000 x 1.06 = $2,120
2 Tax Years Prior $2,000 x 1.12 = $2,240
3 Tax Years Prior $2,000 x 1.18 = $2,360
4 Tax Years Prior $2,000 x 1.24 = $2,480
5 Tax Years Prior $2,000 x 1.30 = $2,600
6 Tax Years Prior $2,000 x 1.36 = $2,720
TOTAL ROLL-BACK $15,520
TAXES, WITH INTEREST:
Example 2: Landowner's liability for roll-back taxes is triggered on July 1, less than 7 tax years after preferential assessment began. The county assessor calculates the difference between the preferential assessment and normal assessment in the current tax year and each of the tax years since preferential assessment began, in accordance with this section. The county assessor determines the appropriate sum to be $2,000 in each of these years. The county assessor would calculate roll-back taxes and interest in accordance with the chart set forth in Example 1, calculating for only those tax years in which preferential assessment occurred.

§ 137b.90.  Due date for roll-back taxes.

   If roll-back taxes and interest are owed, they are due on the day of the change in use or other event triggering liability for those roll-back taxes.

§ 137b.91.  Liens for nonpayment of roll-back taxes.

   The county can refer a claim for unpaid roll-back taxes and interest to the county's tax claim bureau, and take other actions necessary to cause a lien to be placed on the land for the value of the roll-back taxes and interest and other administrative and local court costs. The lien can be collected in the same manner as other lien-debts on real estate.

§ 137b.92.  Time period within which roll-back taxes are to be calculated and notice mailed.

   (a)  General.  A county assessor shall calculate the roll-back taxes and interest, and mail notice of these roll-back taxes to the affected landowner, within 5 days of learning of a change in status triggering liability for roll-back taxes. The county assessor shall also mail a copy of the notice to the other taxing bodies of the district in which the land is located.

   (b)  Notice of change of application.  If a county assessor receives a ''notice of change of application'' described in § 137b.63 (relating to notice of change of application), and that notice triggers liability for roll-back taxes, the 5-day period described in subsection (a) shall commence as of receipt of that notice.

§ 137b.93.  Disposition of interest on roll-back taxes.

   (a)  ''Eligible county'' explained. A county is an ''eligible county'' under the Agricultural Area Security Law (3 P. S. §§ 901--915), and for purposes of this chapter, if it has an agricultural conservation easement purchase program that has been approved by the State Agricultural Land Preservation Board in accordance with that statute.

   (b)  Disposition in an eligible county.

   (1)  County treasurer.  If a county is an eligible county, the county treasurer shall make proper distribution of the interest portion of the roll-back taxes it collects to the county commissioners or the county comptroller, as the case may be. The county commissioners or comptroller shall designate all of this interest for use by the county agricultural land preservation board. This interest shall be in addition to other local money appropriated by the eligible county for the purchase of agricultural conservation easements under section 14.1(h) of the Agricultural Area Security Law (3 P. S. § 914.1(h)).

   (2)  County agricultural land preservation board.  A county agricultural land preservation board that receives interest on roll-back taxes in accordance with paragraph (1) shall segregate that money in a special roll-back account. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Agricultural Area Security Law, the eligible county board under the Agricultural Area Security Law shall, at its discretion and in accordance with its approved county agricultural conservation easement purchase program, give priority to the purchase of agricultural conservation easements from agricultural security areas located within the municipality in which the land subject to the roll-back tax is located, when using the funding from the special roll-back account.

   (c)  Disposition in a county that is not an eligible county. If a county is not an eligible county, the county treasurer shall forward the interest portion of the roll-back taxes it collects to the Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Fund. The county treasurer shall coordinate with the Department's Bureau of Farmland Protection, at the address in § 137b.4 (relating to contacting the Department) to accomplish this transfer.

DUTIES OF COUNTY ASSESSORS

§ 137b.101.  General.

   A county assessor shall perform all the duties prescribed by the act and this chapter. The county assessor has the major responsibility for administration of the act.

§ 137b.102.  Recordkeeping.

   A county assessor shall indicate on property record cards, assessment rolls and any other appropriate records the base year fair market value, the use value, the normal assessment and the preferential assessment of all tracts of enrolled land.

§ 137b.103.  Recording approved applications.

   A county assessor shall record any approved application in the office of the recorder of deeds in the county where the land is preferentially assessed.

§ 137b.104.  Determining total use value.

   A county assessor shall determine the total use value for all enrolled land. The contributory value of farm buildings shall be used in determining the total use value.

§ 137b.105.  Annual update of records.

   A county assessor shall, at least on an annual basis, update property record cards, assessment rolls and any other appropriate records to reflect all changes in the fair market value, the use value, the normal assessment and the preferential assessment of all tracts of enrolled land. This subsection does not require that a county assessor recalculate the preferential assessment of all enrolled land each year, but instead requires the county assessor to maintain reasonably current records reflecting any changes in preferential assessment.

§ 137b.106.  Notification of change in preferential assessment status.

   A county assessor shall provide the owner of enrolled land and the taxing bodies of the district in which the land is situated with written notice of an approval, termination or change with respect to preferential assessment status. This written notice shall apprise the land-owner and the taxing body of the right to appeal the action in accordance with section 9 of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.9). The written notice shall be mailed within 5 days of the change of status. If the written notice terminates or changes preferential assessment status it shall set forth the reasons for the change or termination.

§ 137b.107.  Notification of change in factors affecting total assessment.

   A county assessor shall provide the owner of enrolled land and the taxing bodies of the district in which the land is situated with written notice of any change in the base year fair market value, the normal assessment, the use value or the preferential assessment. This written notice shall apprise the landowner and the taxing body of the right to appeal the action in accordance with section 9 of the act (72 P. S. § 5490.9). The written notice shall be mailed within 5 days of the change.

§ 137b.108.  Adjusting records to reflect split-off, separation or transfer.

   (a)  A county assessor shall adjust an approved and recorded application for preferential assessment under the act to reflect a change when an owner of enrolled land changes enrollment status as a result of a split-off, separation, transfer or change of ownership. These changes may include those actions described in § 137b.52 (relating to duration of preferential assessment).

   (b)  A county assessor may require the preparation, execution and filing of a new application for preferential assessment (without charging the landowner an application fee) to accomplish such an adjustment.

§ 137b.109.  Enforcement and evidence gathering.

   The evidentiary burden shall be on a county assessor to produce evidence demonstrating that a split-off tract is actively being used in a manner which is inconsistent with residential use, agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve.

§ 137b.110.  Assessment of roll-back taxes.

   A county assessor shall calculate, assess and file claims with the county's tax claim bureau for roll-back taxes and interest owed under the act.

§ 137b.111.  Record of tax millage.

   A county assessor shall maintain a permanent record of the tax millage levied by each of the taxing authorities in the county for each tax year.

§ 137b.112.  Submission of information to the Department.

   A county assessor will compile and submit the information required by the Department under § 137b.3(b) (relating to responsibilities of the Department).

RECORDER OF DEEDS

§ 137b.121.  Duty to record.

   A recorder of deeds shall record approved applications for preferential assessment in a preferential assessment docket, and record changes of land use triggering the imposition of roll-back taxes.

§ 137b.122.  Fees of the recorder of deeds.

   A recorder of deeds may charge a landowner whose application for preferential assessment is approved a fee for filing the approved application in a preferential assessment docket. This fee may also be charged with respect to the filing of an amendment to a previously-approved application. A recording fee may not be chargedunless the application or amendment has been approved by the county board for assessment appeals. The maximum fee for recording approved preferential assessment applications and amendments thereto shall be in accordance with laws relating to the imposition of fees by recorders of deeds.

MISCELLANEOUS

§ 137b.131.  Civil penalties.

   (a)  General. A county board for assessment appeals may assess a civil penalty of not more than $100 against a person for each violation of the act or this chapter. An action that triggers liability for roll-back taxes and interest does not, by itself, constitute a violation of the act or this chapter.

   (b)  Written notice of civil penalty. A county board for assessment appeals shall assess a civil penalty against a person by providing that person written notice of the penalty. This notice shall be served by certified mail or personal service. The notice shall set forth the following:

   (1)  A description of the nature of the violation and of the amount of the civil penalty.

   (2)  A statement that the person against whom the civil penalty is being assessed may appeal the penalty by delivering written notice of the appeal to the county board for assessment appeals within 10 calendar days of receipt of the written notice of penalty.

   (c)  Appeal hearing. If notification of the intent to contest the civil penalty is given within the time frame described in subsection (b)(2), the person contesting the civil penalty shall be provided with a hearing in accordance with 2 Pa.C.S. Chapter 5, Subchapter B and Chapter 7, Subchapter B (relating to local agency law).

   (d)  Final civil penalty.  If, within 10 calendar days from the receipt of the notification described in subsection (b), the person against whom the civil penalty is assessed fails to notify the county board for assessment appeals of intent to contest the assessed penalty, the civil penalty shall become finall.

§ 137b.132.  Distributing taxes and interest.

   The county treasurer or tax claim bureau shall be responsible for the proper distribution of the taxes to the proper taxing authority (that is, political subdivision) and the proper distribution of interest in accordance with § 137b.93 (relating to disposition of interest on roll-back taxes).

§ 137b.133.  Appealing a decision of the county assessor.

   A landowner whose land is the subject of an application for preferential assessment under the act, or a political subdivision affected by the preferential assessment of that land may appeal a decision of the county assessor regarding the application and the method used to determine preferential assessments under the act. The landowner shall first appeal to the county board of assessment. After this board has made a decision, the landowner then has a right to appeal to the court of common pleas.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 01-544. Filed for public inspection March 30, 2001, 9:00 a.m.]



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